London

Tower Hamlets election probe: Judges ask for more detail

  • 29 July 2014
  • From the section London

High Court judges who will decide whether the mayor of Tower Hamlets' election victory can be challenged, have asked for more information.

In a legal petition, four voters have accused Lutfur Rahman's party of electoral fraud and corruption.

Lawyers for Mr Rahman, who was re-elected in May, said the petition did not provide enough information about the allegations.

The judges asked for the voters to return with more details by 18 August.

But Mr Justice Supperstone said it was not appropriate to strike out any of the grounds contained in the petition "for want of sufficient particularity".

Commissioner appointed

The Red Flag Anti-Corruption Party led by Andy Erlam, who stood as a councillor, has accused Lutfur Rahman's party, Tower Hamlets First, of the following:

  • Casting votes in the name of people not entitled to be on the electoral register
  • Acquiring voting papers and then marking them in favour of Mr Rahman
  • Paying canvassers to stand outside polling stations to hand out leaflets and persuade people to vote for Rahman

Allegations were also made against returning officer John Williams which included him allowing people to canvas for votes inside polling stations, accompanying voters into booths as they cast their vote and leaving campaign material in and around voting booths.

During the High Court hearing, the judges also refused an application by Mr Erlam for any future trials to take place outside Tower Hamlets or to fix the date of the hearing, before further information had been obtained.

Mr Justice Supperstone said: "In any event, a commissioner will now be appointed to hear this petition and it will be for the commissioner to fix the date of the hearing."

Following the hearing, Tower Hamlets Council, said: "We welcome the decision of the High Court to require the petitioners to submit full details of their allegations by 18 August.

"We look forward to responding to those allegations in due course."

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