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Baroness Warsi - we was robbed

Len Tingle | 13:31 UK time, Sunday, 3 October 2010

Dewsbury's Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, the Chairman of the Conservative Party, grabbed the headlines just a couple of days before Tories headed to Birmingham with the sensational claim that three Labour MPs were now sitting in the House of Commons because of "electoral fraud".

Those three seats made the difference between David Cameron having an outright victory or being forced into a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

Three days later, a few hours before she formally opened the conference, the Dewsbury-born peer was challenged in a live interview on the Politics Show to name the constituencies where she alleges fraud had snatched victory away from the Conservative candidates.

She flatly refused.

But Philip Allott, who was the losing Conservative candidate in the West Yorkshire constituency of Halifax has not been so coy.

He was widely tipped to take the seat but after a count that went until after 4am Linda Riordan, hung on by less than 1500 votes.

In fact, Philip Allott made these allegations back in May before the ballot had even started. He handed a five page dossier to the police claiming votes had been registered from empty houses and postal ballots had been rigged.

West Yorkshire police confirmed this week that it had investigated at the time and had not found sufficient evidence to proceed.

Labour's winning candidate, Linda Riordan, says this all smacks of sour grapes.

In an interview with me for Look North on the day the Warsi allegations were published in the political periodical New Statesman she said any suggestion that electoral fraud allowed her to retain her seat is "absolutely ridiculous".

But Philip Allot will not go away.

He is setting up a stall at this week's conference called "stop voter fraud".


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