From the Telegraph
Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman has been found guilty of corrupt and illegal practices by a judge, who concluded that he had breached rules governing elections.
Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey – who sat as a judge at the High Court – said the May 2014 east London mayoral election result was “void”. Rahman has also been ordered to pay £250,000 in costs.
Outlining his conclusions on Thursday, Mr Mawrey suggested that Mr Rahman, who was born in Bangladesh, had played “race” and “religious” cards.
Mr Mawrey said the conduct of Mr Rahman’s supporters on polling day has caused “considerable disquiet” and that corrupt practices had “extensively prevailed”. Mr Rahman had ignored or flouted laws, said the judge.
Hopefully more later. I don’t yet know whether there are any criminal charges that can now be considered, whether the election of May 2014 has to be re-run, what happens now at all. But it’s good news. Maybe this will concentrate the minds of the Electoral Commission on the matter of the nationwide abuse of the postal vote.
Update from the Telegraph at 5.30 BST
The May 2014 mayoral election will now be re-run and Rahman is barred from standing, the judge said.
Mr Mawrey said Rahman had “driven a coach and horses” through local authority law and had been an “evasive winess”.. (and) the conduct of Mr Rahman’s supporters on polling day had also caused “considerable disquiet”
“The evidence laid before this court, limited though it necessarily was to the issues raised in the petition, has disclosed an alarming state of affairs in Tower Hamlets.
“This is not the consequence of the racial and religious mix of the population, (he has to say that of course – but while we have our faults electoral corruption is not an English trait) nor is it linked to any ascertainable pattern of social or other deprivation. It is the result of the ruthless ambition of one man.”
He added: “The real losers in this case are the citizens of Tower Hamlets.”