Coffee House

Tower Hamlets: more allegations of obfuscation and electoral malpractice

30 June 2014

6:45 PM

30 June 2014

6:45 PM

Will investigators ever get to the bottom of what’s going on in Tower Hamlets? London’s most dubious borough has several ongoing inquiries into the alleged misuse of funds, electoral malpractice and voter intimidation. The first of these appears to be encountering some issues. Following a Panorama programme on the borough’s mayor Lutfur Rahman, the Department for Communities and Local Government sent in auditors to find out whether funds were being inappropriately used.

This afternoon, Eric Pickles told the Commons that Tower Hamlets council has been withholding information from PricewaterhouseCoopers and their investigation will be extended — with a larger bill for Tower Hamlets:

‘In April, I instructed inspectors to launch an investigation into the mayoral administration in Tower Hamlets, to report by the end of June or such later date as I agree.

‘The investigators, PWC, have informed me that the council has considerably delayed the investigation by delaying the provision of key information, or simply not providing it at all.

‘This is unacceptable. I am consequently extending the period for PWC to report. The cost will be met by the council. Whether the council likes it or not, this investigation will be thorough and comprehensive.’


Following reports of wrongdoing on local election polling day this year, the Met and Electoral Commission are also trying to find out if there’s been any malpractice. As the Telegraph recently reported, the Met received 84 complaints in relation to election malpractice in this year’s local elections. So far, two have been arrested in relation to postal vote fraud and electoral irregularities through eight ongoing police investigations. Another man was arrested two weeks ago after police found a ‘car boot full of postal vote applications’ in a routine search.

The Electoral Commission certainly has questions to answer. Whitehall sources are concerned about the Commission’s previous investigations into Tower Hamlets — particularly their 2012 audit, which gave the council top for marks for electoral integrity. In their performance standards review (Excel spreadsheet), the Electoral Commission marked Tower Hamlets ‘above the standard’ for completeness/accuracy of electoral records, integrity, participation and planning/organisation.

Earlier this month, the Electoral Commission announced it would launch a review into vote counting in Tower Hamlets local elections this year. It’ll be interesting to see if they reach the same conclusion in 2014; that the borough is a bastion of integrity and planning. Plus, with a by-election due this Thursday — following the death of a candidate — we’ll see if see the Met’s extra efforts ensure there are no allegations that the poll is anything other than free and fair.

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Show comments
  • will91

    How long are people going to remain tongue tied on this issue? Quite simply, when you import a third world population, fiercely resistant to traditional immigrant integration patterns, you get third world electoral politics to boot. It’s like the cherry on top of the cake!!!

  • Liberty

    If a guy has a boot full of postal voting forms and Rahman supporters were intimidating tellers – which is all irrefutable – then the election was flawed and and should be re-run. We just do not need all this time when the council is in control of our so much of our money and so much potential for harm.

  • Mr_Ominous

    Tower Hamlets was an attempt by Labour to create a one party state with their largely imported voter base they had built up there. It all went wrong because they lost control of one of their lackeys who decided to split from them and create his own party and then ploy some ethnocentric baiting to take a large part of Labour’s support base with him. Tower Hamlets is a hotbed of religious radicalism that’s why the Electoral Commission more than likely gave Tower Hamlets top for marks for electoral integrity. They know if they revealed the true scale of corruption in Tower Hamlets an investigation would find religious radicalism is embedded all throughout the borough and they don’t want a riot (or worse) on their hands.

  • MikeF

    I doubt that much can be inferred from a one-off by-election against the background of a majority entrenched by the recent fullscale election. It will probably be a model of integrity.

  • Gwangi

    Fact: if you put Asians in charge you get Asian levels of corruption.
    Racist? Nope – just reality. I’d say the same if Tower Hamlets were run by corrupt Albanians or Greeks.
    Corruption runs through the veins of Asian culture – no matter which one, or which religion it goes nuts for.

    • itdoesntaddup

      Don’t generalise: you won’t find much corruption in Singapore.

      • Gwangi

        So, you order me not to generalise – and then generalise! Brilliant! No corruption ever at all in any way shape or form in the beautiful brutal dictatorship of Singapore. Yeah right. (What YOU mean is you don’t KNOW about any corruption there because the dictators want it that way, silly!) What’s your major? Irony studies?

        In the UK, when we say ‘Asian’ we usually mean SOUTH Asian. So Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian. Up to half of ethnic minorities in the UK (total of 13-16%) are south Asian, most from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds. Estimates range from 5 to 8% of our population (actually black people are only 3-4%, though 13% in the USA – so most ethnics in the UK are NOT Afro-C). Most Muslims from P or B are lower class village peasants with backwards ways; most Indians are more professional and educated. The USA is completely different in numbers and profiles of immigrants.

        I know in the USA when you say Asian you mean Chinese or what we call SOUTH-EAST Asian.

        Japan’s the only place in that part of the world with anything approaching democracy. China is rotten to the core.

  • Turdson Minor

    The Electoral Commission and the Tower Hamlets regime are on the same level of honesty.

  • sir_graphus

    How about restricting postal votes toregistered disabled only, and the elderly. Everyone else to walk the very short distance to a polling station.

    That would be 90% of the problem solved.

    • 43G

      And dip their index finger in ink.

  • swatnan

    Why not just say: Cheats

  • Barry

    Why not just withdraw the facility for postal voting?

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Because it would hinder Labour’s election prospects and we can’t have that (sarcasm alert).

  • Amir
  • Amir
  • Davidsb

    Is anyone attempting to reconcile the Tower Hamlets part of the 2011 Census to the Tower Hamlets electoral roll and postal voting records?

  • John Smith

    How much more evidence do we require that these Islamists are corrupting our society & murdering our citizens from Tower Hamlets to Cardiff, to Woolwich to Bradford, Luton & beyond.
    Come on get a grip

  • beenzrgud

    Just because someone moves from the 3rd world into the 1st doesn’t mean they lose all their 3rd world ideas. Governments and institutions like the EU should stop trying to enforce their will by dodgy social manipulation. It doesn’t work and in the long term is likely to cause more problems than it solves.

    • Shazza

      I have said this many times before and I will repeat it now.

      If you import huge numbers of 3rd world immigrants into a 1st world country, you will in very little time, end up with a 3rd world country.

      • beenzrgud

        The evidence tends to suggest you may be right, unfortunately.

  • livnletliv

    Nothing new this year other than labour not being the beneficiary. The labour infested electoral commission needs to be put on a bonfire with the other useless and corrupt quangos and the staff charged with fraud. The so called ‘labour party’ should be charged with treason, for starters along with anyone who voted for them.

  • Piccadu

    Rahman has the full support of the Bangladeshi community. Commissioner will face walls of cover up, at all levels within the council.

    It must be added that Bangladeshi women do not vote.

    • livnletliv

      The EC are the experts when it comes to a cover up, or more a attempted cover up.

    • Donafugata

      Let’s face it Tower Hamlets or Minaret Hamlets as Shazza amusingly called it, is virtually an Islamic enclave..

      It is being managed in the Islamic manner which is to reject any conventions or customs of the kaffir.
      Gradually many more areas of this country are due to go the same way simply because no authority is willing to oppose them.


      • vieuxceps2

        Sad? It’s bloody tragic.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          And dishonest, cowardly and treacherous.

      • Shazza

        Yup – and Minaret Hamlets will serve as a template for the rest of the country.

        Slowly, salami slice by slice, we are being islamised. Our own democratic values are being utilised to destroy our very precious civilisation and if you object, you are demonised.

    • Davidsb

      It must be added that Bangladeshi women do not vote.

      I think you will find that most of them vote at least once each…..although not necessarily in person.


    • CO Jones

      Bangladeshi women don’t vote? Of course they do!

      They vote however their dominant male (imam, husband, whoever) tells them to vote.

  • jack

    So many people died once so that idiots could freely vote, but the tragedy is that they did not realise the idiots would actually vote for idiots who would reduce freedom to that of being an idiot.

  • Redrose82

    Tower Hamlets will be the first to announce the result for the 2015 general election. With any luck the count should be completed by the end of next week.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      Too early. The result will be announced soon with the count finishing sometime in 2016.

  • The Masked Marvel

    This is IsLMAOphobic, surely.

    • FrenchNewsonlin

      Time to consign THEIR favourite thought and speech control word to the dungheap. THEY or THEIRS have just declared the Caliphate in the nation states of Syria and Iraq and have their eyes on further trophies not excluding Greece and the Iberian peninsula. THEIRS, a medieval, authoritarian ideology, is a threat to Western civilisation and we sit here and debate political correctness?

  • In2minds

    So it’s back to ‘drain the swamp’?

    • Piccadu

      I can think of a reason why, can you?

  • balance_and_reason

    Heads on spikes…..subverting democracy is modern day treason….we need examples to remind the others.

    • RBcritique

      Whose heads ? Whose spikes ?

      • livnletliv

        Start with Blair and Miliband

      • balance_and_reason

        Nobody drives around with a boot load of ballot papers as a personal hobby…who was he working for?

  • Dutchnick

    View the report of the electoral commission report on fraud;

    3.2 These areas are generally limited to individual wards within a number of
    local authority areas. We have identified the following 16 local authority areas
    (out of just over 400 across the UK as a whole) where there appears to be a
    greater risk of cases of alleged electoral fraud being reported:

    • Birmingham • Blackburn with Darwen • Bradford • Burnley • Calderdale • Coventry • Derby • Hyndburn • Kirklees • Oldham • Pendle • Peterborough
    • Slough • Tower Hamlets • Walsall • Woking

    3.3 These areas are often characterised by being densely populated with a
    transient population, a high number of multiple occupancy houses and a
    previous history of allegations of electoral fraud.

    3.4 These areas are also often home to communities with a diverse range of
    nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. We have heard some strongly held
    views, based in particular on reported first-hand experience by some
    campaigners and elected representatives, that electoral fraud is more likely to
    be committed by or in support of candidates standing for election in areas
    which are largely or predominately populated by some South Asian
    communities, specifically those with roots in parts of Pakistan or Bangladesh.

    Labour brought in the masses who not only vote for them but have a higher level of fraud in the rest of the UK in total. Which party benefit from this? Some how I do not think it is UKIP!

    • Bonkim

      The communities however culturally bent and elected councillors do not micro-manage council finances. It is for the Finance Director and Council Solicitor to maintain due process and democratic accountability. The Auditor has a duty to dig any hanky panky and if he does not get information report that to the Public Auditor.

    • sebastian2

      It looks as though these communities are not just replicating the vibrant and dynamic life-styles of their countries of origin, but also their political practices as well. Pakistan and Bangladesh are both highly corrupt (ranked 28 & 27 respectively by Transparency International). Is it any wonder that this corruption and institutional misbehaviour migrated to Britain with the communities?

      It will probably take more than a handful of investigations and arrests to fix well established corrupt habits of a lifetime. Such national traditions may be deeply rooted. But this is a culture clash we have to win.

      It would, of course, be entirely improper to observe how these practices and UK mohammedan populations often seem to go together.

    • mdj

      It’s disappointing to see no mention of Waltham Forest, where a turnout of 125% was achieved in one ward at the 2010 election, by the far less laborious means of simply awarding 1000 extra votes to each Labour candidate at the count itself.
      No stamps, no paperwork, though in this case sadly a little too obvious, though not to any of the candidates or officials on the day.

      The fact that the Returning Officer was very shortly paid £350k to retire immediately under a non-disclosure agreement is coincidental.

      • MikeF

        There should be no such thing as a non-disclosure agreement in the public sector. It is quite simply the use of public money to keep from the public information of public interest. A simple piece of legislation could outlaw it. Such a proposal would make a nice addition to UKIP’s manifesto for the next general election.

    • post_x_it

      In Tower Hamlets it’s not Labour either, since the unspeakable Rahman turned against the cradle that nurtured him and went freelance.

      • mdj

        In Waltham Forest it’s interesting to see Labour slowly sidling away from its craven ‘celebrate diversity’ (it’s almost like a greeting here) stance since Tower Hamlets showed them that their pet trojan horse might seek its own pastures. They now have a planning policy to ‘preserve pubs’, as valuable community spaces. Since there’s only one social group offering ideas to turn them into something else, this is clearly an anti-mosque move.
        However, since 25% of the council worship at the same mosque already (as with AA in the old Hollywood joke, it’s where the deals are going down), it’s a bit late. Having become addicted to the Muslim vote, alienating it is bound to harm Labour far more than other parties.

  • Dutchnick

    Ignore the PC twaddle and fears of accusations of racism. Investigate and tell us the truth. Sorry if this offends but our votes, so dearly won actually have some value to us.

    • 2trueblue

      Wishful thinking, but it would be nice.

    • MikeF

      The word ‘racism’ exercises a tyranny over contemporary life. It does on the same principle that a voodoo curseword does – because people believe it possesses some intrinsic power. It will cease to do so when enough people recognise it for what it is, cease to believe in it and defy it.

  • Mike Oddpiece

    People should, rather than smugly sniping at people from non-UK backgrounds, think more about affording them the full benefits of the British life and insist that the police fully enforce electoral law in places like Tower Hamlets. It’s the only way we will get on properly together and enable people who would otherwise follow demagogues like Lutfur Rahman to take a full and active role in society.

    • Donafugata

      I don’t want to get on properly together.

    • MikeF

      But what if they don’t like the British way of life i.e. democracy, the rule of law and freedom of speech? What if one of the major established poliitcal parties doesn’t like it either and actively colludes with them to subvert it using concepts like ‘protected minorities’, ‘multiculturalism’, ‘hate speech’ and ‘anti-racism’ as a mix of smokescreen and coercion. That is what we are faced with today. That is the situation that has to be tackled.

  • Ian Walker

    How’s the multiculturalism working out for ya?

  • FrenchNewsonlin

    “Whether the council likes it or not, this investigation will be thorough and comprehensive.”

    Good luck with that Mr Pickles. Before you can hope to clean up the sleaze in that borough you will have to reassert the rule of law and order as it is applied in other non-culturally enriched corners of the kingdom. In attempting that you will probably come up against a vast array of imported obstacles rooted in tribal custom and practice.

    As to the electoral commission until Labour’s chairmole and her henchmen are removed, expect nothing to improve. The Labour mantra of “prizes for all” applies anywhere a “deprived minority” is involved.

    • Piccadu

      “non-culturally enriched…” they, the ethnic residents of the borough, could say the same about the whites!

      • vieuxceps2

        Irony not your strongpoint ,innit.

      • FrenchNewsonlin

        Hmm. Seen any reports recently about the legacy population systematically and consistently rigging postal ballots?

  • Bonkim

    What is the Council Legal Department doing about all this – the Council Solicitor could be hauled in front of their professional body for malpractice. All council activity including elections is overseen for propriety by the council Head of Legal services.

    • TheLondonBlogger

      Do tell more!
      Your line of enquiry looks to be a solid one!

      • Bonkim

        Electolar fraud involving postal ballots if any – Police matter

        Council councillors and even mayors do not micro-manage only set policies and budgets. Yes some scope for politically motivated discretionary spending – but that takes place in all councils.

        The rest if there are any financial hanky panky – auditors should catch them out. In this case if the Government appointed auditors are not given information requested or what is consider normal information flow – no need to wait for Secretary of State – the Auditor should meet the council’s Finance Director and Solicitor and demand same and if there are any signs of financial information suppressed or missing – should call the fraud squad.

  • Aberrant_Apostrophe

    It’s a shame it’s not a police investigation – yet. The councillors and officers involved could be arrested for obstruction of justice. As for the Council bearing the costs, no doubt those will be passed onto the CC payers.

  • LadyDingDong

    The sheer complacency from our political masters which has allowed third-world electoral corruption to thrive in the heart of our capital is beyond belief. Pickles should put Tower Hamlets under direct control, merge it with another council which is not ethnically gerrymandered, hold new elections, and do it now.

    • ArchiePonsonby

      I’m not holding my breath! The Electoral Commission moves with the speed of light when confronted with allegations about UKIP, but Tower Hamlets has been a festering sore for many a yonk and received not even a perfunctory butcher’s from that august body!

    • Hexhamgeezer

      Indeed. Perhaps the headline should read ‘Bangladesh –
      more allegations of obfuscation and electoral malpractice

      • telemachus

        Would that be a racist comment Mr Geordie?
        You know a lot about criminality up there

        • vieuxceps2

          If it’s” racist” to mock corruption in Bangladeshi “communities” then we should all be in favour of such “racism.” What IS racism anyway? There seems to be an awful lot of it about .

          • Inverted Meniscus

            Racism: a tool of the Labour Party deployed whenever it wishes to discredit its enemies ( the British public) and/ or shut down an inconvenient debate or incident. It is characteristically used with maximum dishonesty typical of Labour the party of lies, lying, lies and Fascism.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          No but your comment would be typical of that used by Fascist Labour to shut down an inconvenient debate. Fascist Labour the party of lies, lying and liars.

        • Kitty MLB

          What art thou sayeth, wasp !
          That those dark satanic mills of the North breed criminals,
          that fall down from the chimneys that are clogged with shoeless children?
          Is this foul way of thinking about Labour’s territory now the norm.
          Ah, foolish is my name, I forget Labours new voters from
          the Tower of Hamas.

          • richardofkent

            Hexhamgeezer lives in a long term conservative seat

        • Flintshire Ian

          Yes. Its not unheard of for Labour politicians to have their collars felt in that part of the country is it?

        • Hexhamgeezer

          I’ve ‘upticked’ your comment as you seem to have forgotten.

        • saffrin


        • Pier66


    • JoeDM

      Londonistan !!!!