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Two arrested over electoral fraud allegations in Tower Hamlets

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Two men have been arrested as part of a probe into allegations of electoral fraud at Tower Hamlets LBC.

Police said officers were carrying out eight investigations linked to the election in the London borough last month.

These relate to one allegation of failing to put a correct imprint on election literature, one of making a false statement about a candidate, four of false declarations on nomination papers and two linked to postal voting.

Police said they arrested a 38-year-old man in Tower Hamlets on 13 May on suspicion of potential false declarations on nomination forms. He was taken into custody and subsequently released pending further inquiries.

On Tuesday this week a 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud in relation to postal vote applications. He was taken into custody and subsequently bailed to return pending further inquiries.

Police said they had received 84 complaints of electoral malpractice in Tower Hamlets, but added there was no evidence of any criminal offences having been committed in the majority of cases.

Meanwhile, John Williams, Tower Hamlets’ returning officer, said in a statement that he was separately looking into a number of complaints which, while not alleging a criminal offence, could represent a breach of a protocol designed to create trust in the elections, which was signed by parties. He added that “any concerns will be discussed with the election agents and candidates ahead of the pending Blackwall and Cubitt Town ward election”.

That is due to take place on 3 July. In a statement the Metropolitan Police, which had a strong officer presence at all polling stations across the borough on election day, said it was working with the council to “deliver a robust policing plan” for the by-election.

Elsewhere, the Metropolitan Police are investigating a further six election-related offences.

These relate to four allegations of false declarations on nomination papers, one allegation of bribery, and one of forgery. The local authorities that these allegations relate to have not been named.

In relation to the above investigations, a 33-year-old man was arrested in Enfield on 13 May over an allegation of potential false declarations on nomination forms. He was taken into custody and subsequently released pending further inquiries.

Three further men had been interviewed under caution – two in connection with allegations of making a false statement on nomination forms, and one for forgery.

The police said they would continue to work closely with the Electoral Commission and would encourage anyone who wished to report an offence to contact their local police team.

 

 

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