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RE-COUNT FAILS TO CHANGE BRADFORD MBC WARD RESULT

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A disappointed candidate in May's hard-fought election for Bradford's Little Horton ward was today facing a£25,000...
A disappointed candidate in May's hard-fought election for Bradford's Little Horton ward was today facing a£25,000 legal costs claim to add to his woes.

Jamshed Khan, who lost out to a Labour rival in the poll, challenged the result at London's high court, claiming a 'simple counting error' had deprived him of a seat on Bradford MBC.

The case triggered a fully-fledged recount before a top court official on 23 October, but Labour candidate, Taj Mubarik Salam, had his victory in the poll confirmed by a slightly increased majority.

And, as a result, Mr Khan today had his challenge to the result dismissed by top judges, Mr justice Morland and Mr justice Richards.

He was ordered to pay the legal costs of the case.

Mr Anthony Hudson, for Mr Salam said his legal costs came to more than£11,000 and Mr Philip Coppel, representing the returning officer, said his costs had been estimated at£14,500.

Mr Isaac Maka, for Mr Khan, attacked the legal costs bills as 'grossly exaggerated' and said they would be hotly disputed.

In his electoral petition, Mr Khan said he had firm evidence that there had been a crucial counting error on the night of the poll.

The result declared at the time was that 3,745 votes in total were cast - a turnout of 37% - and that Mr Khan polled 1,297 votes against the 1,903 total run up by Mr Salam.

Mr justice Richards said the October recount - held behind closed doors at London's royal courts of justice - gave a result of 1,298 votes for Mr Khan and 1,911 for Mr Salam, a slightly increased majority for the latter.

That result meant Mr Khan's petition was 'doomed to fail' and he accepted he had to pay the action's legal costs, the judge added.

Mr Khan was ordered to pay£2,500 legal costs immediately on account of the final legal costs bill, the amount of which will be formally assessed at a later date.

STRAND NEWS SERVICE

BRADFORD MBC ELECTION VOTE COUNT 'MISTAKEN'

LOCAL ELECTION RUNNER-UP CLAIMS 'SIMPLE COUNTING ERROR'

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