From the Express
BREXIT Party bosses are to legally challenge the Peterborough by-election result, it has been announced. In a press coference this morning, party chairman Richard Tice said he had evidence a “convicted fraudster” was working as an agent for the Labour Party. Labour’s Lisa Forbes beat Brexit Party’s Mike Greene by 683 votes. Police have been investigating three fraud claims.
Cambridgeshire Police have responded to one allegation saying no offence took place but two other allegations remain under investgation. They started off saying they were investigating five out of the many complaints reported to police as potential frauds. Within 24 hours (barely long enough to take a statement, let alone have the evidence assessed and referred to the CPS) they had declared that there was nothing amiss with the three complaints that alleged postal vote fraud.
Cambridgeshire Police continue to investigate two allegations – one of a breach of the privacy of the vote and one of the burning of ballots. But the force has announced that no offences were found over allegations of bribery relating to postal votes.
The Brexit Party will lodge a petition under the Representation of the People Act 1983 this week.
This morning Nigel Farage urged for an end to the postal votes system in its current form, as party chairman Mr Tice said there had been numerous “rumours” including of “vote-rigging”.
Mr Farage said that the postal voting system introduced in 2001 was “wide open to corruption, to intimidation, to bribery, to abuse on a whole number of levels”. He continued: “If you say it’s sour grapes, you can say it, but actually it is time for change and my ambition would be that by the next general election to get rid of the current postal vote system.”
Wheelchair users and overseas service personnel are among those Mr Farage suggested should keep the postal vote.
In a presentation to a London press conference on Monday, Mr Tice said there was evidence that Tariq Mahmood had acted as an agent for the Labour Party. Mr Tice asked: “How much did Lisa Forbes, the elected MP, know that she had a convicted electoral fraudster in her team who would count as an agent?” Tariq Mahmood was jailed for fraud in 2008 and was pictured with Ms Forbes and Jeremy Corbyn.
Bookies’ had the party as clear favourites to win before the vote, with the odds slashed in Labour’s favour just minutes before the votes were declared. The Bookies are not often wrong; however recently they were wrong about the Peterborough result and Tommy Robinson’s chances as MEP in the North West .
From the Peterborough Telegraph
Concerns have been raised by the high levels of attempted ‘family voting’ which were observed at the recent Peterborough by-election.
A new report released by election observation group Democracy Volunteers said it had witnessed two voters heading into the same polling booth together at 11 of the 23 poling stations it had observed on June 6. However, today’s full report praises polling staff and police for intervening, while the city council is commended for the “excellently conducted election by the officials”. I have never doubted the honesty of the junior officials who man the polling stations. It is frequently a casual job done by retired Civil Servants (although I never fancied it myself) who are old-school and over whom the authorities don’t have the leverage of promotion or job security. But the modern salaried diverse careerist – that’s a different beast.
Although the council was largely praised for its running of the voting process, concerns were raised, notably due to three occasions where voters were seen photographing their ballot papers. Moreover, Democracy Volunteers said on two occasions observers “identified literature within the polling station which was biased towards one candidate”, while on other occasions party officials and tellers were seen given assistance to voters.