FIFTEEN investigations involving eight police forces were under way last night into allegations of voting fraud and malpractice during the campaign. Ten of the police inquiries concern postal voting.
Scores of suspicious postal vote applications have been detected by electoral workers, with 182 being referred to police in Bradford alone. Detectives arrested a Conservative councillor in the marginal seat of Bradford West yesterday.
The number of investigations is likely to rise sharply from today. Senior police officers expect calls for fresh inquiries as electors discover that their votes have been stolen and members of political groups demand that suspect election results be overturned.
The arrest in Bradford, the second by West Yorkshire Police in 24 hours, comes after investigations by The Times into claims of postal ballot fraud. Jamshed Khan, 51, campaigned for Haroon Rashid, the Conservative candidate in Bradford West, the 68th most vulnerable Labour seat.
The Times disclosed that he had 13 voters registered at his home and 12 more at a derelict house he was registered as co-owning until recently. He maintained that 13 voters live at his house and that he did not own the second property.
Three investigations are being carried out into allegations of postal vote fraud in Bradford. On Tuesday a 38-year-old man was arrested by officers during an inquiry separate from the one involving Mr Khan.
In Birmingham, where the first electoral court for more than a century was convened this year to convict five Labour councillors of vote-rigging, West Midlands Police have conducted house-to-house inquiries to verify postal vote applications to avoid a repeat of the âindustrial scaleâ fraud that blighted the city in last yearâs local elections.
Police in the Birmingham Sparkwood and Small Heath constituency are also investigating an allegation that a Labour supporter applied for postal votes in his neighboursâ names. He denies wrongdoing.
The Leicestershire force is holding two postal vote inquiries. In Leicester South accusations by the Liberal Democrat candidate, Parmjit Singh Gill, that Asian community leaders could be trying to rig the polls are being looked into.
A householder in Leicester East sparked the second inquiry when he reported that his signature had been forged on a postal application.
Two claims of postal vote fraud in East London have been reported to the Metropolitan Police. Both allegations concern properties in Bethnal Green & Bow, the seat being fought by Oona King for Labour and George Galloway for Respect.
Thames Valley Police have two investigations in High Wycombe, one for an allegedly false registration on the electoral roll and the other for âirregularitiesâ over proxy voting.
Bedfordshire Police in Luton are checking an allegation that a Conservative supporter took advantage of an elderly woman suffering from Alzheimerâs disease by persuading her to let him vote for her by proxy.
Bradford West 3 incidents
suspicious applications 182
I'm afraid with excellant currys this is an unwanted import form india and pakistan
don't think its a party thing its a cultural thing extended families clans castes etc etc.
not that we are not capable of this sort of stuff ourselves think last time round
some lib dem up north got done
examples should be made I refuse to belive any of the party leaders are aware of this stuff we don't live in zimbawe its low ranking uber keen types and people who think thats how you run elections