02 May 2012

Watchdog reassures ministers on Tower Hamlets vote

Chair of the Electoral Commission, Jenny Watson, has written to reassure ministers that monitoring will take place in Tower Hamlets London Borough Council to safeguard the integrity of Thursday’s elections.

Ms Watson has sent a letter to local government minister, Grant Shapps, confirming the body had passed on allegations of postal voting fraud within the borough to the Metropolitan Police.

This follows the action of Labour councillors, who last week raised concerns with the Commission that an 'unprecedented' number of households in the Spitalfields and Banglatown wards had recently signed up for postal votes. In some cases, the votes were allegedly allocated to people who no longer lived at the stated address.

Ms Watson said the Commission is checking with Tower Hamlets, the Greater London Returning Officer and the police to deal with the risks.

‘Electoral Commission staff will be observing postal vote opening, observing in polling stations in Tower Hamlets on Thursday, an will be at the relevant count centre on Friday.’


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