‘Industrial-Scale Fraud’ in Mayor’s Victory

Andrew Gilligan, Telegraph (London), July 26, 2014

The extremist-linked mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, benefited from “considerable” postal ballot fraud and may also have been helped by “organised fraud in the counting of the votes”, according to his Labour Party rival.

John Biggs, who was narrowly defeated in May’s highly controversial election, said he and party colleagues had seen a number of ballot papers at the count where a vote for him, or candidates supporting him, had been crossed out and a different vote written in.

He accused Mr Rahman’s supporters of a “considerable amount of election fraud, principally centred around the manipulation of postal votes” and said there were “very significant doubts about the integrity of the ballot”.

The accusations form part of a damaging dossier of evidence, some of which will be submitted to the High Court tomorrow by petitioners attempting to overturn the election result. One of the petitioners, Andy Erlam, said vote fraud had occurred on an “industrial scale.”

In a separate article for a local newspaper Mr Biggs said: “I remain a good loser, provided it was a good competition. But I am becoming clearer by the day that, remarkably in this mother of democracies, it could ultimately be declared that the election was bent.”

The dossier, seen by The Telegraph, contains dozens of specific and detailed allegations of electoral malpractice, by and about named individuals, compiled by Labour and three other parties in the election. The dossier alleges that:

Þ Bengali voters, especially women, were intercepted by Mr Rahman’s supporters outside polling stations, then “accompanied” into the polling booths and “directed how to vote”.

Þ In Lansbury ward, Labour votes were “crossed out” on ballot papers and “Tower Hamlets First [Mr Rahman’s party] votes entered with a different colour pen”.

Þ In Weavers ward, the Labour votes “appeared to have been erased” on a “substantial number” of postal ballot papers.

Þ Count agents for Whitechapel ward “reported that many postal ballots [and the accompanying declarations of identity] appeared to have been completed in the same handwriting”.

Þ The counting venue, a converted cinema, was owned by the partner of one of Mr Rahman’s key allies.

The dossier also alleges that Rahman supporters were allowed to conduct “campaigning inside polling stations”, handing out leaflets and telling voters that the Labour candidates were racist or had “sided with a non-Muslim”.

Hundreds of Rahman leaflets were allegedly found inside the polling booths where people cast their votes, while “hostile and threatening” Rahman supporters mobbed polling station entrances, deterring Mr Rahman’s opponents from entering to cast their ballots. One Labour activist in Bow West said a Rahman supporter “came right up to her, shouting and wagging his finger in her face”.

According to the dossier, Labour supporters in a number of blocks and streets “especially those with external mailboxes . . . complained that their postal votes had not arrived”, while voters in the Prusom Street area had their blank postal ballot papers taken from them by Rahman supporters pretending to be from the Labour Party. It also alleges that a number of people came to vote at polling stations and found their votes had already been cast by someone pretending to be them.

The papers include witness statements from individual voters supporting many of the allegations. One, a commodity trader from the Isle of Dogs, stated that he witnessed a campaigner for Mr Rahman “blocking the route of three young women so they could not pass him into the polling station.”

According to the witness, the campaigner “then produced the very same [Rahman] leaflet I had removed from my polling booth and proceeded to forcibly tell the ladies who they had to vote for” before taking them inside the polling station and registering them with the clerk.

Another white voter, from Bow, stated that she was approached by a Bengali family on the street who said they had been “bullied” by a crowd of Rahman supporters outside their polling station. They asked her to escort them for their safety.

“I went inside the polling station and found a police officer who came out to escort the family safely through in order to vote,” she said.

Sanu Miah, a Labour council candidate in the St Peter’s ward, came top in the first count, with 2,270 votes. However, Mr Rahman demanded a recount to take place the following day, with the votes stored at Tower Hamlets’ headquarters, Mulberry Place, overnight. In the recount Mr Miah dropped from first place to fifth, with his vote falling by a quarter to 1,722 votes.

Some Labour sources believe the first count was a genuine mistake, since there was another candidate with the same surname. However, in his statement, Mr Miah alleges that the seal on one of the ballot boxes was “tampered with and opened” overnight and that “something took place with the ballot papers whilst they were held at Mulberry Place”.

He added: “On the first count, I saw many single votes for myself with other [parties’] candidates, ie many mixed ballots. However, in the second count these were not there. If my ballots had been kept [overnight] in the police station [as another recounted ward was], I am confident I would have won.”

In the chaotic count, which took more than five days to return final results for all contests, senior Labour Party sources said that, as well as ballot paper tampering, the way the votes for the mayoralty had been counted was also suspect. Votes for each candidate are normally sorted into bundles of 50, with the tellers then counting the number of bundles to give each candidate’s total vote.

However, according to the Labour sources, some of the bundles for Mr Rahman contained only 47 or 48 votes, resulting in him getting more bundles than he deserved. Meanwhile, some bundles for Mr Biggs contained 52 or 53 votes, resulting in him getting fewer bundles than he should have. With around 64,000 first-preference votes cast between the two men, a difference of five or six votes in each bundle may have been enough to affect the result, the sources said. Mr Rahman’s majority after second preferences were included was 3,252 votes.

Mr Rahman, who was expelled from Labour in 2010 after The Telegraph exposed his links with an Islamic extremist group, the IFE, won re-election as an independent despite his council being under two separate investigations, one by the Government for alleged misuse of funds and another by the police for fraud.

The High Court hearing tomorrow is to consider an application by Mr Rahman to “strike out” the petition, which he claims is an “abuse of process.” If this is defeated, the full hearing on the petition, which seeks a rerun of the election, will take place in September, when the full evidence will be presented.

Separately, auditors in the Government investigation of Tower Hamlets’ finances are believed to be focusing closely on deals where lucrative council assets were transferred to close associates of Mr Rahman at a fraction of their true value.

An official council report seen by The Telegraph reveals that Mr Rahman appears to have been closely involved in a decision to sell the Old Poplar Town Hall, valued by council officers at £1.5 million, to a company called Dreamstar for £875,000. Dreamstar’s principal shareholder is Mujibul Islam, the owner of Mr Rahman’s 2010 election campaign website, who admitted that he had “had an affiliation” with the mayor and had “helped” him in the election.

In official answers, the council appears to have lied that Dreamstar’s was the “highest bid”. In fact, the report shows, it was only the fifth highest. Dreamstar missed the deadline at the “best and final offer” stage altogether but was allowed to submit a higher “late” bid after all the others, though it did “not comply with the council’s procedures”.

Even Dreamstar’s revised bid was still only the third highest and was recommended for refusal. Instead, it was entered into a “contract race” which saw the two higher offers rejected.

Dreamstar has now received planning permission to turn the listed building, on Poplar High Street, into a 25-room hotel, expected to raise its value to around £3.5 million. The lucrative permission was given in secret by Mr Rahman’s officers, though applications of this scale would normally be decided in public by elected councillors.

The council claimed that the report on Old Poplar Town Hall found “no evidence of illegality or maladministration causing injustice” and that “no elected individuals have been involved in the processes investigated”. The Government audit report into Tower Hamlets is now expected after the summer.

Mr Rahman said that allegations of electoral misconduct were the unfounded claims of “sore losers.”

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  • Einsatzgrenadier

    More Muslims in western countries means more third world corruption and poverty. Keep Muslims out. They have their own countries. Let them stay there.

    • Pro_Whitey

      Just as reason is not all-knowing and all-seeing, but a tool dependent on its premises, democracy is a tool to help guide a people who share basic premises about how they desire to be governed. Where people are in agreement on the essentials, giving them the option to pick one or another to administer the particulars might be a helpful resort to the wisdom of the masses, if it exists. Where you have groups with premises diametrically opposed to each other, democracy becomes more like one wag’s definition, three wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.

      • IstvanIN

        Democratically elected representation is tough in a real nation (people of one ethnic group or at least race), in a chamber pot of a country it is disaster.

  • The definition of insantity is to fight the muzzie psychopaths in their sand dune countries, while welcoming them to your own country. Stop the insanity.

    Muzzies are racially different from whites even without their insane religion. Throw that in and you have a new worldwide dark ages descending on civilization. Islam, the religion of pieces and detonation buttons.

  • none of your business

    It’s called Tower Hamlets because it is the neighborhood around the Tower of London.
    The UK invited the third world, gave them council housing denied to White natives and provide them with life long benefits also denied to White natives.

    • Since I know what used to be done in the Tower of London, I regard it as fortunate these filthy Fourth-World swine are clustered near the Tower. This means that when real Britons reclaim control of their own country, they won’t have to march these invaders very far before disposing of them.

  • none of your business

    “telling voters that the Labour candidates were racist or had “sided with a non-Muslim”.”

    Labour has been active in importing non Whites since 1948. Now the browns and blacks they used to destroy the native Whites are destroying the labour party. Good. I am happy to read this article. My feel good article of the week.

  • none of your business

    “He also raised the Palestinian flag over the town hall for support for Gaza”
    Good again. The English people who have done the most to encourage the immigration of muslims to the UK support the Israel side in this conflict.
    Wait another 20 years when the muslims have completely taken over London and see how they treat the Israel supporters who advocated for muslim and arab immigration for so many years.

  • IstvanIN

    Which in about 10 years will be “God D#mn the King”.

  • WR_the_realist

    If any party deserves to see its candidates lose due to massive fraud by recent immigrants that party is Labour. (Followed by the United States’ Democrats.)

  • HE2

    Coming soon to a polling station near you.
    Be it black clad NBPPs slapping their truncheons, muzzie vocal intimidation, Asian women screamers or MS-13ers hired to “supervise and help” non English speakers at the polls, it is coming here.
    Mestizos already have political control of areas in California.

  • De Doc

    Britain should get used to this scenario. They invited them in, so now they get a true taste of diversity.

    • I don’t recall the British people particularly having a say in the matter. The liberals and engineers of it can reap what they sow, but I don’t think it is quite so easy to suggest that all of the British people invited them in and so therefore should get used to it. Although, saying that, many of the wider demographic probably do deserve what they get via their complete apathy and ignorance as to how things would end up.

      • De Doc

        Pardon my slip – I didn’t mean to impugn all of you Brits, just the greedy and cynical politicians who can’t get enough of cheap 3rd world labor.

  • john

    Good news.
    The English would be better off seceding from London and having a government that puts the interests of the English first.

  • JackKrak

    Wait, are you telling me these people still act and vote and organize elections in the same way they did back in Hellholistan instead of instantly adopting British ways and customs immediately upon setting foot there? Amazing….

  • Once you become a nationalist, it can do nothing but astound you as to how naive liberals are when it comes to how the world actually operates and how arrogant they are in expecting every group to be just the same as they are and want the same things as they do.

    To me, it is hardly news that Pakistani Muslims have been importing these things and working the political systems for their own collective interests.

    Yet, to the media and the general public though, they seem to be either dismayed or in disbelief that this kind of thing is happening – and suggest it should be ‘tackled’ and/or enforced – often by applying more liberalism or pretending that they still have any hope of controlling or containing what they have given birth to.

    This is where they are doubly arrogant and delusional.

  • none of your business

    Sayonara, Sayeeda: Departure of the Vibrant BaronessAugust 9, 2014 | Author: Tobias Langdon

    Suppose there were a political party in Japan that hated the native Japanese and wanted to do them as much harm as possible. What would it do? Campaign formass immigration, of course. But some immigrants would be more harmful than others. Any party that hated the native Japanese would look very favourably on Muslim nations like Pakistan and Bangladesh. Enrichment from those two would be guaranteed to poison political, cultural and economic life in Japan.

    But that’s entirely hypothetical. There is no malign and treacherous party in Japan and the Japanese haven’t been enriched with millions of Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. But the White British have been and the poison is growing more powerful in its effects all the time. The latest example has been the noisy departure of Sayeeda Warsi, Britain’s most vibrant Baroness, from the so-called Conservative government:

    As a display of cynicism and disloyalty, the timing of Baroness Warsi’s resignation from the Government could not have been more calculating. On Monday night, she represented the Government at a moving ceremony at Westminster Abbey to commemorate the start of World War I.

    It later transpired — to Downing Street’s fury — that the Senior Foreign Office Minister had played this central role in the service having already decided to resign dramatically the following morning. … Fiercely ambitious, Warsi was incensed when she was overlooked for promotion in last month’s botched Government reshuffle, while a string of women saw advancement. Yet promotion was never a possibility. David Cameron actually resisted pressure from senior colleagues to sack Warsi, who, with an extraordinarily inflated view of her own abilities, had vain hopes of succeeding William Hague as Foreign Secretary. …

    The resulting political mess is entirely of Cameron’s own making. He promoted Warsi to the Cabinet after the general election to Tory Chairman — traditionally a job for a heavy hitter — not because of her brilliant oratorical skills or shrewd political insights but because of her ethnicity and sex. She is the first Muslim woman to serve in a British Cabinet.

    Working class, educated at a comprehensive, and with a broad Yorkshire accent, Warsi ticked all the politically-correct boxes — she was the perfect antidote to Cameron’s middle-aged, grey, Eton-educated colleagues. She was the manifestation of the idea that Conservatives were no longer the party of privilege. While a woman of considerable willpower, Warsi — a solicitor who studied law at Leeds University — had neither the experience for the job nor any empathy with Tory members [!].

    Compared to the likes of Norman Tebbit, who was Margaret Thatcher’s Tory chairman, Warsi was also a political lightweight — and, worse, she had never been elected as an MP [Member of Parliament]. She stood as a candidate in her native Dewsbury, Yorkshire, in 2005, a winnable seat. But while the Tory share of the national vote increased, it fell in Dewsbury and Labour won. Cameron responded by putting her on his so-called A-list to propel women, ethnic minorities and gays into safe seats. She was not even selected so Cameron elevated her to the House of Lords in 2007 as Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion.

    It was part of his attempt to reach out to the ethnic vote even though Indians, rather than Pakistanis, are more likely to vote Tory according to recent research. In Cabinet she swiftly became known as the ‘Blundering Baroness’. She claimed electoral fraud within the Asian community cost the Tories three seats at the election — but refused to name the seats where the result had been fixed.

    She was also forced to deny saying she did not want more Muslim MPs because ‘Muslims that go to Parliament don’t have any morals or principle’. Her comments in Urdu, made at a private dinner, were misinterpreted, she says. …

    Today, Mr Cameron must regret not sacking Warsi when he could have. And how he must rue backing her so assiduously — once again raising questions about his judgment of people, and women in particular. Westminster was thick with rumour last night that she might defect to Labour and that she has kept a detailed diary. If either report is true, then Baroness Warsi’s capacity for embarrassing Cameron still further will increase dramatically. (Baroness blunder: Muslim, working class and northern, she ticked all the boxes. Her tragedy was her ability didn’t match her ambition, The Daily Mail, 5th August 2014)