EDITORS NOTE: THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON 8 JUNE 2019
WRITTEN BY JAY BEECHER
AS MOMENTUM trolls mobilised nearly 1,000 activists to knock on doors in the run-up to the Peterborough by-election – carpooling activists to Peterborough from as far as North Wales – an enormous push for postal votes was made in a devious attempt to claim the marginal seat nestled in Cambridgeshire. And, as Politicalite can now exclusively reveal, the reasons for this raise serious concerns over the validity of the inevitable result.
“The social media history of Lisa Forbes epitomises the love-in between Labour and anti-Jew sentiments” Karen Harradine recently wrote in The Conservative Woman. “As was exposed by the mainstream media, Forbes has a penchant for Islamist conspiracy theories and has fallen for the propaganda that Muslims are victims of ‘Zionists’. She liked a Facebook post claiming that Theresa May has a ‘Zionist Slave Masters agenda ‘ and supported another post which said that the CIA and Mossad created Isis. Anti-Semites like to use the word Zionists as a euphemism for Jews in a misguided attempt to justify their racism.”
But this, despite vile and shocking, as we discovered, should be the least of Peterborough’s worries, after strong allegations of vote-rigging began to pour in from distraught residents.
Peterborough has a long and deep association with electoral fraud, particularly through the illegal manipulation of postal votes by the local pro-Labour Muslim community.
In the recent by-election, an astonishing 69.4 per cent of postal voters cast their ballots in an otherwise low turnout which came out at 48 per cent overall is a matter of grave concern. The emergence of electoral fraud as an issue in UK politics this century cannot be divorced from postal voting. Poll fraud, furthermore, is known to be high in ethnic minority areas, as was dramatically underlined by Sir Eric Pickles three years ago.
Peterborough’s vote should raise questions, not least that the Labour Party hired a campaigner who has been jailed for vote-rigging.
As of the 1st of March 2019, there had been only one conviction from an electoral fraud case in 2018 in the entire United Kingdom, despite hundreds of incidents reported, and despite the fact that thousands have called foul play at highly suspicious election results and dubious campaign tactics. This one single pitiful conviction was where a candidate forged signatures on his nomination form so he could stand in the election.
In two separate case, two suspects were given and accepted police cautions. One was the result of a candidate who registered to vote at two different addresses and voted (by post) twice. The other was someone who voted using someone else’s postal vote by mistake.
Of the 266 cases that were investigated, 191 needed no further action. A further 55 were resolved locally with informal advice given either by the police or the Returning Officer. 17 cases are still under investigation or are awaiting advice from the Crown Prosecution Service.
Yet, in Peterborough alone, the electoral commission’s own official figures show that hundreds of reports of electoral fraud have been made to the electoral commission over the past few Local and General Elections, including many for ‘tampering with ballot papers’. To date, however, none of these concerns and genuine reports have led to any convictions, with some even being suspiciously recorded on the EC database as having been ‘dealt with locally’ by Peterborough City Council.
With Peterborough officially highlighted by the government and electoral commission as one of the top ten constituencies in the country where serious electoral fraud is known to occur, in recent years, the City council signed-up to a government pilot scheme that would legally require voters to attend polling stations with their passport or other form of ID in order to vote. This, although doing nothing to prevent postal fraud, would have had a positive impact in tackling vote-rigging that is known to take place by Labour supporters at polling stations.
Peterborough’s participation in this logical scheme, however, was curiously cancelled by the local government shortly before the snap-election called by Theresa May in 2018 – an election that led to the swearing-in of Labour’s candidate and eventual criminal MP Fiona Onasanya.
The results in last years election – as with the majority of those before it – provide shocking reading, with Labour beating staunch Tory Brexiteer Stewart Jackson by a similar number as recently seen, a mere 607 votes, whilst the number of postal votes, particularly from central wards with a considerably high Pakistani community, being among the highest Peterborough had seen.
This, it was alleged, was mainly down to the employment of a convicted Labour electoral fraudster to work on Onasanya’s campaign, who – along with a gang of Pakistani Labour campaigners – allegedly bought votes from Eastern Europeans and other locals, and were instrumental in the ‘acquirement’ of postal votes.
The criminal employed by Peterborough’s Labour branch, Tariq Mahmood, found himself behind bars in recent years over his involvement in a Labour-led vote-rigging scandal that cost the taxpayer over £1m to investigate, and also resulted in the arrest and eventual imprisonment of a former Labour Mayor.
In 2008, Labour’s Mohammed Choudhary, 49, former mayor of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, was jailed at King’s Lynn Crown Court.
Party candidate Maqbool Hussein, 52, was jailed for three months and Tariq Mahmood, 40, received a 15-month term.
All three from Peterborough, were convicted of forgery over a scheme to fabricate votes for the Peterborough city council election in June 2004.
“They were able to get hold of postal and proxy votes which belonged to voters in the central ward,” prosecuting QC Anthony Leonard said.
“They arranged for postal and ballot papers to be sent not to the voter but to addresses with which each defendant was connected.”
Detectives began an inquiry after voters complained, jurors were told.
At the time of his imprisonment, Tariq Mahmood was the Peterborough Labour Party’s Secretary.
Det Insp Ian Tandy said he was satisfied with the length of sentences.
“This hopefully will act as a deterrent and send out a message that election fraud will be investigated and prosecuted,” he said.
But, as Politicalite exclusively revealed, this conviction did nothing to disuade Tariq and the others from continuing to take leading roles within the local Labour election team – supported and endorsed by the branch’s leader, Shaz Nawaz; a close friend of criminal fraudster Mahmood.
During the election of Fiona Onasanya, Tariq was once again given full reign during the Labour election campaign, and was even listed by the party as an official nominee, also giving him special access to the count room – much to the disgust of local residents and politicians.
Mahmood was also found to have made racist and extremist remarks on Facebook during the election campaign in which he alleged that Theresa May had been behind recent terrorist attacks.
“I saw him walking around with them in his red rosette,” said another local, “knocking on doors, intimidating voters outside the polling station near my house, and playing a big part in getting his ‘Labour gang’ to influence people living nearby. It’s shocking really that he’d be allowed to do that unchallenged”.
Other reports from concerned residents (all reported to Onasanya but inevitably ignored) included complaints of large groups of young Pakistani men loitering menacingly outside key polling stations wearing Labour rosettes, members of the public being pelted with eggs and verbally abused, a volunteer Tory teller having a camera phone held in his face inside one of the polling stations (a highly illegal act) whilst being racially taunted in a disturbing online video, and even my own team member (I stood in a local by-election on the same day) being physically assaulted.
Other eyewitnesses on the night began reporting feeling concerned by lines of Eastern Europeans and young Brits being ushered into central polling stations – allegedly having been coerced into voting red in exchange for cash. I headed straight down to the polling station in question myself, where I and others – including concerned elderly Labour voters – witnessed firsthand as young Pakistani official Labour campaigners, including Tariq Mahmood, ushered scores of young brits and large groups of Eastern Europeans one after the other in and out of a nearby 4×4, where it is alleged that the exchanging of money took place before the people – many of whom seemed confused as to what they were supposed to do – were led by Labour officials into the polling station across the road.
On the evening of the election, upon seeing such wide-spread illegal activity occurring in the city, numerous residents contacted the Police to make them aware of the ongoing situation and its dramatic scale. I was among those to make an urgent phone-call to the Peterborough police force, after an elderly lady (ironically a Labour voter) approached me after being mistaken for a Tory supporter and being verbally assaulted by the intimidating mob. The lady – a member of a nearby residents association, reported that she had also witnessed £10 notes being handed to Eastern European residents. Yet, if any of us had hoped that the matter would be dealt with swiftly by the police, our hopes were quickly dashed. In the phone call that I myself made to the police force, the officer responded that they were ‘too busy’ and did not have the resources to deal with it.
Further reports sent to the Electoral Commission and local police force fell upon deaf ears.
“Someone came to my door and said they’d give me £10 if I vote for the Labour guy” one young local Polish resident informed us, referring to Labour candidate Matthew Mahabadi who stood in a local by-election held on the same day and who recently resigned after ‘being bullied for calling out anti-Semitism’. “Another one of my neighbour’s said she was offered money to vote for Fiona but shut door [SIC] on them”.
“Some of my friends were got [sic] money to vote for them, but I said no to that”.
Controversial Local Labour Councillor Ed Murphy was also reported to have boasted on the night of the count: “We’d signed up over 500 Eastern Europeans for postal votes within weeks of the election being called”.
Upon her shock (or perhaps now considering these latest allegations not-so-shocking) win, the heavy-footed Fiona was quick to celebrate with those who contributed the most to her success; not least with Mahmood himself, whom she proudly thanked before posing with a tasteless victory selfie.
And then, of course, we arrive back at the recent by-election, in which Politicalite exclusively revealed that convicted vote-rigger Tariq Mahmood was ONCE AGAIN employed by the local Labour election team and by Lisa Forbes.
This time, however, he – along with others – allegedly ramped-up their efforts to see their candidate elected by whatever means.
As before, the rest of the team apparently turned a blind eye to this; it is claimed due to their knowledge and involvement in the long-running electoral fraud that has served the Labour party well for decades.
Catching-up with local residents following the election of Lisa Forbes on Thursday, Politicalite – aided by Peterborough-based pro-democracy group ‘Vote Watch’ investigated various reports and allegations of Labour-led electoral fraud.
Among those that stood out the most, was one resident who was furious that her daughter had – as she claimed – been ‘given cash’ to go and vote Labour.
“She’s never voted before in her life” the woman told us. “Then these scum sweet-talk her into taking a tenner to go down and vote. She’s 18. She didn’t get what she was doing. I’m angry with her, but I’m p*ssed off with the Labour boys who took advantage”.
The woman, as with most of the residents we spoke to, had chosen not to go to the police or electoral commission, for fear of reprisals from the local Labour droogs.
In 2015, a Peterborough Tory candidate made national headlines after his car was set on fire during his election campaign – allegedly by local Labour Pakistani youths who had attacked him to dissuade him from continuing to stand. A petrol bomb was also thrown at his front door, but luckily there were no casualties.
I myself have also been targeted by the vicious Labour team during a previous election – capturing Labour campaigners wearing red rosettes bizarrely rifling through my dust bin and leaving my car park shortly before I discovered that red paint had been thrown over my car.
Another resident we spoke to alleged, with great conviction, that she had been ‘bullied’ into voting for Labour by a group of Labour men who mobbed her outside her local polling station.
Meanwhile, another Peterborian alleged that in the weeks running-up to the by-election, Tariq Mahmood asked her to apply for a postal vote and offered, in her words ‘to take it off my hands’ and ‘sort my vote out for me’.
For legal reasons and for the protection of those concerned, Politicalite cannot name the many residents who have alleged electoral fraud took place during the by-election, but a full complaint, including their claims, has been put forward to the electoral commission to investigate – although, taking past attitudes and ignorance into consideration, we hold little hope that any action will be taken.
Other allegations that Politicalite investigated were a series of claims that postal workers had intentionally destroyed campaign literature from non-Labour candidates and parties rather than delivering them, and that some postmen had handed postal votes over to local Labour ‘officials’ before they could make it into the hands of their rightful owners.
This, however, did not surprise us. During previous elections, similar reports were made, including one by Peterborough Councillor Shazia Bashir, who had witnessed local Labour supporters and post men boasting online that they had been involved in the destruction of campaign material and the redirection of postal votes.
The disgracefully damning posts on social media have since been taken down. Despite them being officially reported at the time, no action was ever taken against those involved.
Nor has any action been taken against recent dubious tactics employed by the local Labour team, including by Aasiyah Joseph, one of the signatories on Lisa Forbes’ nomination papers, who incited racial tensions in Peterborough and unjustified hatred towards Brexit supporters by openly promoting the unfounded claim that the Brexit Party are ‘racist’.
Another individual whom Lisa Forbes chose to sign her nomination papers, Politicalite soon found, had filmed himself in an open-top car with a group of friends who drove around the city shouting racist anti-Indian slurs.
Before we concluded our investigation and began our report to hand over to the electoral commission, a further allegation was made by two separate members of the Pakistani community. The two individuals – both of whom go against the local trend among the community, and vote Conservative – claimed that local Mosque officials had not only told their congregations who to vote for, but had also ‘personally completed’ the postal votes of many local Muslim residents.
This practice has been reported as having taken place in other parts of the country, and is a nation-wide issue that is yet to be addressed.
“I worked for the election team for a local authority” one person recently revealed on social media. “In Muslim areas the Elders collect the blank postal votes and the candidates team fill them in. They justify this as ‘helping’ because of high illiteracy in Pakistani and Bangladeshi families. I have witnessed this personally.”
In 2016, Lord Pickles released a thorough official report as the culmination of an extensive investigation into the causes of electoral fraud in Britain.
In the report commissioned by the Government, Sir Eric Pickles, the former Conservative Cabinet minister, warned that the authorities are in a “state of denial” and are “turning a blind eye” to election fraud due to “political correctness”.
He revealed strong evidence of voter fraud “especially in communities of Pakistani and Bangladeshi background” but that the cases have been ignored because of “over-sensitivities about ethnicity and religion”.
Sir Eric warned that “challenging issues” over community cohesion should never be an “excuse” for failing to “uphold the rule of law and protect British liberties”.
During the election campaign, Corbyn visited the Peterborough constituency to campaign for Lisa Forbes. Their main focus fell on squeezing-out what has been nicknamed the ‘Muslim vote’, by visiting predominantly Pakistani areas and schmoozing with local Imams.
Last week, Labour grabbed hold of the Peterborough Parliamentary seat by a mere 683 votes. THOUSANDS of postal votes are reported to have suspiciously gone to Lisa Forbes, in one of the highest postal vote turn-outs in recent years, and amidst a disappointingly low overall turnout at the polling stations.
With the overwhelming allegations once more flooding in from frustrated and betrayed Peterborough voters, it is now becoming clearer as to why the Labour party – in the run-up to the by-election – heavily promoted the use of postal votes, and urged on social media for residents to apply for postal votes rather than vote in person.
It also highlights the serious threat facing democracy in Peterborough, with ramifications for the rest of the UK.
Have these claims been reported in the mainstream media? You can bet your vote-earned bottom penny they haven’t. Are the local council taking it seriously? Considering that another formerly imprisoned vote-rigger has now been allowed to stand again in a recent election, and the fact that Peterborough – just last month – swore in its new mayor (a man previously convicted of fraud), we think perhaps not. And finally; will the electoral commission take a long overdue stand to restore order and democracy in a down-trodden, betrayed city? That, despite our reservations, is yet to be seen.
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