Today George Galloway held a press conference about postal vote fraud in Tower Hamlets and issued the following press release. Even to someone from Birmingham it makes shocking reading.
‘For the last six years Respect has been campaigning against voter fraud ,’ Galloway said. ‘In my successful campaign in 2005 in Bethnal Green we uncovered hundreds of fraudulent votes and attempts to subvert the democratic process and handed them on to the police. To the best of my knowledge nothing was done to make the system more secure. Tower Hamlets council has also been complicit in this complacency.’
Respect has a substantial dossier on the current abuse and the principal people involved in this attempted fraud. George Galloway will name these people and the Respect bus will drive to their addresses where reporters and photographers will have the opportunity to question the people Galloway has named.
The letter below was sent this morning.
To the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, the Chair of the Electoral Commission, Tower Hamlets Returning Officer and the General Secretary of the Labour Party
Dear Sir Paul Stephenson, Ms Jenny Watson, Dr Kevan Collins and Mr Ray Collins,
It is now clear that the elections in Tower Hamlets have been subject to widespread postal vote tampering and voting fraud. I first wrote tot he authorities on April 6th to express my profound concerns about the subversion of the democratic process here. Unfortunately, those well-founded concerns have met with staggering complacency, a complacency all the more remarkable for the fact that it is widely known this borough's elections have been undermined by fraud at least for the last six years since New Labour's hegemony was first challenged by Respect.
We now have a situation where some candidates have been adding names to the register at their own addresses and at the addresses of friends and family which defy plausibility. This has taken place on such a scale that, together with the widespread vote tampering, the integrity of elections here has been thoroughly compromised. The press has been rather more assiduous in its investigations and the Times, the Independent, the Daily Mail and the Evening Standard have all now run extremely disturbing stories. Even worse, an Independent journalist has been savagely assaulted whilst making legitimate enquiries into voter fraud.
I now wish to make four demands on the relevant authorities to act to restore confidence in the forthcoming election in Tower Hamlets. Firstly, I am demanding a full-scale police enquiry into voting fraud in this borough. It really is not good enough to have a sergeant with other duties using a makeshift office in a part-time police station in Bow. Rooting out the fraudsters requires a serious deployment of forces with direct senior management involvement.
Secondly, I am demanding that the Returning Officer carries out an immediate review of voter registration over the last couple of months to discern potentially fraudulent registration, which in this instance means the sudden registration of two or more adults in addition to the existing registered adults in any property in Tower Hamlets. All such suspicious registrations must be referred to the police for investigation. It is not good enough to say you do not have the power to investigate. You have the evidence of criminal behaviour and it is therefore your duty to identify that evidence and refer it to the police.
Thirdly, I am demanding that the Labour Party immediately suspend any council candidate who has added to their household registration two or more voters in recent months with no possible legitimate reason. It is clear from the electoral record that a number of Labour candidates in this election have added names to those registered at their own homes, never mind others, in numbers that are not plausibly legitimate.
Fourthly, I am demanding the Electoral Commission, which has consistently sought to defend the indefensible postal voting on demand system, launches its own immediate enquiry to learn the lessons of the subversion of the democratic system that has taken place here in Tower Hamlets. The Electoral Commission has a duty to advise on how to ensure that elections are properly run in this country and this is a duty that has been very poorly discharged so far, as the fraud in this borough reveals.
Nothing less that immediate and robust action will restore the widespread and legitimate distrust of the electoral system which now exists in Tower Hamlets and beyond.