Electoral Fraud in the UK

Electoral Fraud in the UK

Eric Pickles, the Anti-Corruption Minister, has written a passionate article in the Daily Telegraph condemning the widespread prevalence of electoral fraud. Quoting Dr Michael Pinto-Duschinsky of the Policy Exchange think tank, he said there are estimated to be 6.5 million ‘ghost voters’ on the electoral rolls. That is enough to change the result of a general election. Political correctness combined with a ‘collective state of denial’ has meant that the enormous scale of the problem has not been addressed.

Adverting to the proven corruption in Tower Hamlets and the disqualification of the Mayor, Lutfur Rahman, he said:

In Tower Hamlets, police and council staff failed to tackle intimidation – often in foreign languages – both inside and outside polling stations. Just as we have seen with child sexual exploitation in places such as Rochdale and Rotherham, institutionalised political correctness can lead to the state turning a blind eye to criminal conduct. But the law must be applied equally and fairly to everyone. Integration and good community relations are undermined by the failure to do so.

The problems go deep – despite years of warnings of misconduct in Tower Hamlets, the state watchdogs gave the borough’s electoral system a gold-star rating for integrity in inspection reports. We still have a series of tick-box inspections of town hall returning officers that are as ineffectual and useless as those once practised by the now-abolished Audit Commission.

There are London elections to be held next year, yet in Tower Hamlets and, more so, in Hackney, a substantial number of voters remain unverified. In Hackney that number rises to a quarter of the electorate. Therefore the government is introducing individual registration and removing unproven voters from the electoral roll. Eric Pickles himself will be gathering further information of postal voting fraud and undue influence or intimidation. Political correctness and ‘woolly concerns over political engagement’ should not be allowed to stand in the way of restoring the reputation and integrity of the British electoral process.

Daily Telegraph: We are ignoring electoral fraud just as we ignored child sex abuse in Rotherham