Investigation continues into Tower Hamlets count after twenty complaints reported

Crowd continue to wait in large numbers outside the Troxy. Photo: Andy Goddard.

Crowds outside the Troxy during elections. Photo: Andy Goddard.

Tower Hamlets council are conducting an inquiry into the electoral count, after 20 complaints were reported following the local election on May 22, 2014.

A Tower Hamlets spokesperson said: “We are currently investigating approximately 20 complaints, which were not received until after the elections, following publicity this week. These complaints are mainly about the conduct of campaigners outside polling stations and are being investigated by the Returning Officer, who has also referred them to the Police to consider whether any offence may have been committed and if further investigation is required.”

The Metropolitan police reported a number of complaints against aggressive campaigning on the polling day but that these were dealt with by the police.

The Electoral Commission has also confirmed that they are reviewing the management of Tower Hamlets during the electoral count, which saw Tower Hamlets as the last UK council to announce its results.

The review will look into the management and conduct of the count, the logistical issues, as well as identifying recommendations for future local elections within the borough.

John Williams, the Returning Officer for Tower Hamlets, said: “I welcome the review as an opportunity to examine arrangements for the election count. Whilst the count took longer than expected the primary objective was to ensure that the result was seen as fair and accurate by all the parties concerned and most importantly by the residents and stakeholders of Tower Hamlets.”

Newly elected Mayor, Lutfur Rahman, said: “I visited every polling station on election day. Every one had police officers present and the atmosphere was not one of menace, it was one of festivity.”

The council has explained that the reason for the five day delay was due to a high turnout, the recount of six wards, and the second preference count for the Mayor.

The Electoral Commission’s report will be completed by July 3, 2014.


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