Police asked to investigate more than 50 allegations of electoral fraud
West Yorkshire accounts for nearly half of claims of ‘ghost’ voters, false statements and multiple votes being investigated.
Police across the UK have been asked to investigate more than 50 allegations of electoral fraud related to Thursday’s elections in areas previously identified as vulnerable to vote-rigging, new figures show.
Officers in Manchester, Bradford, London and Birmingham have begun inquiries after receiving complaints about “ghost” voters, false statements by candidates and multiple attempts to vote by a single person.
The inquiries have emerged after the Guardian contacted police forces covering 16 areas that the elections watchdog has identified as being vulnerable to electoral fraud, particularly around the use of postal votes.
As well as Birmingham and Bradford, they include Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Calderdale, Coventry, Derby, Hyndburn, Kirklees, Oldham, Pendle, Peterborough, Slough, Tower Hamlets, Walsall and Woking.
West Yorkshire police, whose officers serve Bradford where former councillors have been imprisoned for electoral fraud, said they had received 21 allegations of electoral irregularities.
DI Ian Lawrie, of protective services (crime), said: “We have currently had 21 allegations that have been recorded for further investigation for election-related incidents. These include a number of matters under theRepresentation of the People Act 1983.”
On Thursday, there were 14 investigations across Greater London, according to a Metropolitan police spokesman. These included the arrest of two prospective councillors in Tower Hamlets, east London, and Enfield, north London, for false declarations on election papers. Police have also been asked to investigate allegations of intimidation and tampering with postal votes in the east London borough.