Tower Hamlets Tories Raise “Serious Concerns” Over Count

Tory councillors and activists are preparing a report for the Electoral Commission after becoming concerned about at last Friday’s “chaotic” Tower Hamlets count. Multiple sources at the heavily policed count described alleged failings including:

  • Failure to replace all teams of counters between the mayoral count (Thursday night) and the council count (Friday afternoon);
  • Both the council ballot verification process (Thursday night) and the count itself being “very disorganised”. Observers said staff seemed unsure how to verify and count split votes, so political counting agents and candidates had to explain to them how to do it…

Suspicions intensified when the result for the Island Gardens was announced: it put Conservative group leader Peter Golds in 4th place. The Tories asked for a recheck because this didn’t match up with their tallies. Golds went from fourth place to second place after the recheck…

On polling day numerous issues had been reported including EU citizens being turned away at polling stations. Golds told Guido:

“Anyone who tries to describe what happened on Friday as a count should reconsider their opinion. The whole thing was a complete and utter shambles. From start to finish the count was totally disorganised, staff didn’t know what they were doing, with ballot papers being misplaced and counting procedures made up on the spot. Following government directions the council have had years to prepare for this election. We were still the last authority in the country to declare a result and there are still concerns that several results may not be correct.”

“The Electoral Commission have serious questions to answer, they need to look carefully at what happened here and sort out the legitimate concerns that people have for over elections once and for all.”

An Electoral Commission spokesman said:

“While it took time for Tower Hamlets to complete its count and declare results for all 20 wards, the processes and procedures that were put in place to address past issues were well managed. Representatives from the Electoral Commission were present throughout the Tower Hamlets count, no issues were raised with them Anyone who does have concerns should contact the Returning Officer for Tower Hamlets.”

Meanwhile, Labour’s re-elected mayor in Tower Hamlets proclaimed the borough has “moved on” from its history of corruption issues. Not quite…




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