THE CITY of Peterborough – a dull, grey, bewilderingly worn-down English mock-metropolis, sinking in parts into the drained Fens of Cambridgeshire.
It is worn-down for a many number of reasons; unprecedented, perhaps unmanageable levels of immigration, the second-highest birthrate in the United Kingdom, the second-fastest growing population, an often wasteful City Council with amateurish ideas; all and more have forced the once quaint and quiet demi-city into rapidly and blindly growing into something that perhaps it was never intended to become and that, realistically, with things as they are, it can only ever hope to emulate.
Like other places of its ilk – glorified towns that narrowly scraped through the criteria required to pass off as official cities – the cramped city also suffers unknowingly from a detrimental confusion over its own identity.
For all intents and purposes, the unintentional multicultural experiment that is Peterborough – a developing city that do date has tried and failed to promote successful integration – is, in a nutshell, confused about its future and overwhelmed by its present circumstance. And it is, under these conditions, that various ‘darker sides’ to city life have been able to flourish unchecked.
The date is the 8th of June, 2017. Election day.
In a baffling decision to which the true reasons are perhaps still known only to her, Prime Minister Theresa May has called a snap election and it seems since then, up until this moment, has done everything in her power to lose it.
There is only an hour left to vote.
Outside a central Peterborough polling station, a street lamp flickers above a group of intimidating-looking men of Pakistani heritage – red rosettes pinned to jackets.
A 4×4 draws slowly down the road ahead of them, trundling along in almost curb-crawling fashion towards the polling station before coming to a smooth halt by the curb opposite.
One of the Labour droogs raises his hand to acknowledge the driver and gives a cocky smile. His name is Tariq Mahmood, whom just earlier was pointed-out by an elderly resident (a Labour voter whom the group had mistaken as a Tory) for allegedly intimidating her and hurling verbal abuse when she had asked him why he was standing there.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, swathes of young Brits, but mainly Eastern Europeans – some of whom would later go on to state to me that they had been bullied or exploited, badgered or bought – are ushered into the car one by one by the smiling, enthusiastic, almost giddy rabble of Labour campaigners, many of whom had just hours earlier attempted to assault a Tory activist before driving around the city pelting anyone wearing the Tory colours with eggs.
The voters – many of whom don’t appear to even understand what it is they’ve come to vote for in the first place – each spend just a few moments in the vehicle with the driver and a Labour rep. They are then taken out and shown the way into the polling station to cast their votes.
They do so in their droves.
Among them, two young Polish girls laugh to each other at the clear absurdity of it all – coaxed on and reassured by Tariq; the ribbon on his rosette waiving in the cool evening air as he walks them half way up the path and sends them on in.
Already that day, reports have been made to me by concerned residents that ‘they are buying the vote again’. By ‘they’, they mean the local Labour Party.
I stand there with others, watching the only too familiar scene as I call the police on my mobile phone. A few minutes into the call however, and the usual response/disinterested excuse is given: “We’re too busy at the moment. We’ll log it down. We’ll try to see if an officer can stop by, but I can’t promise anything”.
I hang up and watch, unable to stop it from happening, as once again another election is ‘allegedly’ fiddled by the same small group of cretins who have ‘allegedly’ been fiddling them for years. Vote-riggers, some call them. Democracy-deniers. ‘Ballot burglars’.
The count room that night has the usual electricity flying through the air, although this time with a greater intensity than felt at previous elections.
Then, just a few hours after the votes are counted, long-serving Tory MP and staunch Brexiteer Stewart Jackson is surprisingly unseated by under 700 votes, to the vile eruption of around a hundred young Labour rosette-wearing young men of Pakistani origin, and to wild chants of ‘Tory scum’ and ‘f*ck off back home to London you c*nt’. Among them, as always, is Tariq Mahmood – the ‘pleasant’ bald, goatee-sporting Labourite. He joins in with the uncontrollable gloating, turning his iPhone on himself and giving a cheeky smile and a wink.
The candidate he campaigned for, took endless photos with on the election trail, and who will eventually go on to become the first British MP to wear a police tag in the house of commons and the first to be booted-out by her constituents following a conviction for perverting the course of justice, has just won on a wave of suspicious votes, with over 13,000 postal votes being issued in that single election alone – a figure outdoing the national average by a long-shot.
Leaving the podium following her acceptance speech, she heads over to her central campaign team and thanks them, pausing for a moment to take a celebratory selfie with our dear friend, Tariq Mahmood.
Skip forward two years – past the widely publicized downfall of a politician who (in true Hillary Clinton style) chose to blame a random Russian for her speeding offence rather than just fessing up, taking the points, and carrying on as MP – and we arrive on the night of the 6th June, 2019.
Squeeze past the hundreds of members of the large Pakistani community (99% of them donned in red), and you’d have been ready (if the bookies were anything to go by) to watch the election of The Brexit Party’s Mike Greene.
But then, just as before, the leary mob erupt into vicious roars and cheers as Labour’s Lisa Forbes is surprisingly voted in by (as with Onasanya) a suspicious majority of under 700 votes to her name.
The following day she makes a visit to one of her campaign members, having herself snapped with a big smile beside one of her crucial campaigners; you guessed it; Tariq Mahmood.
But why is that so important? What is it about this Tariq Mahmood character that is worth a mention? And why is it that he seems to be the favourite choice for the past two successful Labour Parliamentary candidates to indulge in a joyous kodak moment?
As Politicalite exclusively reported, Tariq Mahmood isn’t just your average campaigner.
In 2008, Tariq Mahmood, now 51, was convicted alongside fellow Labour members Maqbool Hussein and former Peterborough Mayor Mohammed Choudhary for forgery over a devious scheme to fabricate votes for the Peterborough City Council election of June 2004.
The four-month case that saw Mahmood (a Labour Party Secretary) sentenced to a 15-month porridge stint cost the taxpayer a whopping £850,000.
“They were able to get hold of postal votes and proxy votes which belonged to voters in the Central Ward,” Prosecuting QC Anthony Leonard said. “They arranged for postal votes and ballot papers to be sent not to the voter but to addresses which each defendant was connected”.
Despite his proven lust for vote-rigging and disregard for British democracy (or perhaps because of it), Mahmood was quickly snapped up by the local Labour Party to “help” win the Parliamentary seat for Labour in 2017, in which Fiona Onasanya went on to beat popular incumbent Tory MP and (as I’ve mentioned) staunch Brexiteer Stewart Jackson by a mere 607 votes.
Mahmood was also found to have made extremist remarks on Facebook during the election campaign in which he alleged that Theresa May had been behind recent terrorist attacks, leaving many residents furious. He also called Sajid Javid a ‘coconut’ for having a Christian wife – a derogatory terms meaning ‘brown outside but white inside’ – sparking fury, gaining national attention, and even being condemned by Sajid himself inside the House of Commons.
“When are they ever going to get that man to f*ck off?” One angry local resident asked following the shocking result, that once again saw the national average for postal votes issued trounced (with over 10,000 sent out to voters, and curiously exactly 400 rejected during the count – we are supposed to believe due to the ‘fact’ that almost 400 residents suddenly developed amnesia and forgot their own dates of birth or signatures, for the votes were rejected due to not matching the details held on record). “He makes a complete mockery of democracy and the right to vote. It’s been the D-Day anniversary today – when soldiers died to protect our right to vote in a free country. Labour letting a criminal like him walk around opposing democracy is a p*ss take”.
As Politicalite began its investigation into the involvement of Tariq Mahmood, further allegations were made by two separate members of the Pakistani community. The two individuals – both of whom go against the local trend among his community by voting 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.
Within days, endless more accounts and dubious facts began to emerge.
During the election campaign, Jeremy Corbyn had 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 of the city and schmoozing with local Imams.
Yet after the result was announced, and foul play called, Comrade Corbyn was forced to quickly distance himself from one of the fellow comrades he had spent most of his time around that day – Tariq Mahmood.
As social media joined the public outcry with calls of foul play – predominantly over the Labour Party’s suspicious hiring of a convicted fraudster on Forbes’ campaign, but also over the ridiculous number of postal votes both issued and rejected – so too did the local Labour team begin to distance themselves from the man whom the local Labourites call ‘Brother Tariq’.
‘He didn’t campaign with us whatsoever’ said a party official. ‘Tariq wasn’t at the count’ said others – a claim that eventually became the official party line.
But, luckily for us, ‘brother Tariq’ isn’t exactly the brightest of brothers. Nor, for a man with his reputation, is he the most discreet.
In fact, it seems that good old Tariq’s ego consistently gets the better of him – much to his own detriment.
For you see, he loves a good selfie does our Mahmood; snapping away throughout the campaigns he heavily engages in and unwittingly providing almost a step-by-step pixelated footprint of his activities and involvement in, well, just about everything; attending campaign rallies in his red rosette, sitting outside polling stations on the tellers seat for Labour, posing with Corbyn, showing him around local shops and businesses and introducing him to voters, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, hip-to-hip with his close chums, former and current local Labour leaders Mohammed Jamil and Shaz Nawaz.
But Labour (desperate to silence the scandal from potentially getting any more publicity) are now officially telling you that he WASN’T in the count room. In fact, so too, rather bizarrely, are the local Council’s election team.
Rather than address the serious issue of electoral fraud and the potential fact that the recent Peterborough by-election that saw both The Brexit Party’s Mike Greene and Tory Paul Bristow pipped-to-the-post by under 700 votes, was a fix, Peterborough Council – who recently decided to scrap a scheme that would have seen a reduction in electoral fraud in the city – denied categorically that Tariq Mahmood was even in the count-room – much to the bafflement and bemusement of many local political activists who claim to have all seen him there, just as he has been seen in the count-room on many occasions.
Unfortunately for him/them, we now have several sworn affidavits signed by eye witnesses who state that 100% he was inside the counting room that night, just as he has been on almost every other election in recent history.
But you don’t just have to take their word for it. Thanks to Tariq’s snap-happy mentality, his own well-documented day (showing us moment by moment almost everything the ballot burglar got up to that day bar what he had for breakfast – although, to be fair, we didn’t check back that far, so if you’re interested, you could probably find out his cereal preferences through a quick social media scroll of your own) is laid bare for all to see, with time stamps to boot.
Here are photographs lifted from Tariq Mahmood’s Facebook account, which he uploaded from inside the count room just before the result was announced.
Luckily (though not so lucky for the Council or for Peterborough Labour), if for whatever you STILL aren’t satisfied that Tariq was there, today we spoke to one of our sources – an official at the count – who also said that 100% he saw Tariq inside the count room. Unlike our other witnesses, however, this gem of a chap remembered that – after introducing himself to Tariq Mahmood and ‘a Labour Councillor in a sari’ stood beside him by a section of the count room marked ‘Park’ (a key ward in Peterborough where electoral fraud has been previously highlighted) – he just by chance happened to randomly take a photograph of the stage inside the count room to capture his OWN Kodak moment.
It wasn’t until reading Politicalite’s exclusive report later that night about Tariq Mahmood that alarm bells began to ring, and, cautiously, the source eventually agreed to provide me with the image for publication:
Nothing much to see here, right? Unless we take a closer look that is:
And there he is, in all his glory. Check-out the features. Compare the clothes with other, more clearer images he took that night. Take into account the fact that he is standing exactly where his own photographs uploaded to social media were taken, at almost exactly the same time.
We also have other photographs on there way, filling-in-the gaps that clumsy Tariq ‘forgot’ to document for us.
With this further – even more conclusive proof – that Mahmood was inside the count room that night, the affidavits from respectable individuals and party officials who saw him up close and personal inside said room, and of course, Tariq’s own keepsake count room snaps, it isn’t a stretch to call out the Council’s and the Labour Party’s claim that he wasn’t there, for exactly what it is.
Excuse my language, but there is only one way to describe the official stance about Tariq’s involvement and presence inside the count room, just as there is only one way to describe the now official stance – despite the wealth of photographic evidence and statements that have come to light – that he ‘didn’t help out on the campaign whatsoever’: It is, quite frankly, a ‘load of bollocks’.
I’m sure that readers will understand why the word ‘allegedly’ has to be used so often when reporting on serious issues such as this one. But in this case – on my shoulders be it – the claims that Tariq Mahmood wasn’t there and didn’t help, are false. Lies. Easily disproven. And we should stop even pretending for a second that there is any doubt.
Tariq Mahmood, as you can see, and as we shall be proving in our inevitable legal challenge, WAS involved – as he has always been – in the Labour campaign to win the seat for Lisa Forbes. Tariq Mahmood – the convicted fraudster who was shockingly rewarded by the local Labour branch upon his release from prison with a once-in-a-lifetime trip to meet the Queen – WAS inside the count room.
But then, with that in mind, just take a look at the following statements given to the local newspaper by a Labour Spokesperson following our reporting:
“The Labour Party had 19 official guests who were allowed in to the restricted areas. He was not one of them.”
“Members of the public can of course support Labour, but this individual did not play any role in Labour’s campaign.”
Ignore the denial of his involvement in the campaign, of which we know is clearly BS. If Labour have confirmed that he wasn’t listed as having permission to be in the count room, and the council are also adhering to this claim, yet we know that he indeed was, surely we must now be asking ‘HOW’ did he get into the count room, who let him, and more importantly, doesn’t that mean he has (yet again) committed a serious electoral offence; an offence now being hushed-up by Labour and almost brushed-off by a council-led elections team who should be taking this far more seriously than simply checking a list, shrugging their shoulders, and moving on?
This is just one of the many things that the police should be investigating, but don’t appear to be doing so.
Other ‘allegations’ abound. The burning of postal votes from wards deemed to be Tory or Brexit Party-leaning. The claims by residents of bribery and intimidation. All have now been documented and will be included in our official challenge to the validity of the result.
Meanwhile, even Councillors – just as fed up as their constituents – have decided to speak out.
Deputy leader Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald – a popular long-serving local outspoken Councillor who also played an active part in Peterborough’s Vote Leave campaign – told local paper, The Peterborough Telegraph, that he is ‘convinced’ that illegal activity took place, saying: “I have grave concerns over postal vote harvesting within certain sections of the community, particularly focused on the urban city wards of Park, Central, North and East.’
“We know it goes on with reports of it happening in Asian communities with people coerced.
“My view is postal votes should be scrapped entirely unless you are physically impaired.”
Asked if he had raised this issue with the council’s elections team, Cllr Fitzgerald said: “I’m assured by the chief executive [that] police do covert actions”, before adding “I am making constant complaints to electoral services.”
Also throwing her hat into the ring was Conservative city Councillor Shazia Bashir, a former Labour supporter who has openly and bravely spoken-out for years against the electoral fraud allowed to go unchecked in the City.
Bashir claimed that a few years ago she had seen electoral fraud first-hand in Eastern European and Asian areas of the city and firmly believes it still happens now.
She also claimed voters in Peterborough are told to take photographs to prove who they voted for, even though polling stations display signs stating that photography is forbidden.
I have worked alongside Shazia in the past. You get a general feel for someone, and if I know one thing about Shazia, it’s that she isn’t a liar – far from it. She’s been standing-up to this sort of thing, quite fiercely, for quite some time now, despite endless attacks against her from her local community as a result.
Adding weight to her claims, during the by-election, observation group Democracy Volunteers sent a team of activists to the city who reported back that they “identified an emerging concern in the frequency in which individuals were observed to be photographing their completed ballot papers”.
There is a great deal more evidence that we could go into but can’t, for it would undoubtedly lead to complications in the impact of our final report once we submit it with the relevant paperwork and accompanying (extortionate) application fees to have this whole matter investigated. But it WILL come out soon.
Should it be left to outraged members of the public or rival political groups to have to investigate the blatant dubious, even ‘allegedly’ criminal tactics employed by the local Labour party in this election? No, of course it shouldn’t. If this matter were being taken seriously, Mahmood would already have been taken into custody, his phone checked, the photos and data contained within their files examined, statements taken, witnesses interviewed, further arrests made.
Thankfully, in the past few hours – partly thanks to our articles and the great people who have shared them online and made them viral across the internet, but also thanks to the local Tory Party who reported various incidents to the police, and thanks to numerous independent ‘amateur sleuths’ who were spurned-on by our reports to feed us information – a Cambridgeshire police spokeswoman has now confirmed that: “We are looking into five allegations relating to the by-election and whether any offences have been committed. These break down into bribery and corruption x1, postal votes x3 and breach of the privacy of votes x1. The investigations are ongoing.”
That, of course, doesn’t include the new information detailed in this report, so hopefully we might be able to add to that number.
Why, you may ask, is it taking this much effort by independent bodies to expose the blatant corruption in Peterborough, and why aren’t authorities doing more? Why isn’t this a national news story yet? Well, as one of the journalists for a national newspaper who has since been in touch with me over the allegations said with an air of caution in his voice: “We have to be careful not to appear racist or provoke any racial tensions”.
It seems that political correctness, along with a half-hearted attitude towards protecting the very democracy that just 75 years ago people fought and died to protect, has allowed this to happen. And unless this attitude changes, unless we ask some serious questions, stop excusing the inexcusable and blindly defending the indefensible; unless we start accepting some ‘inconvenient truths’ and actively tackling them until they are truths no more; unless we accept the Peterborough by-election for what it was and DO something about it; democracy will finally have been snuffed-out in Peterborough, with grave ramifications for the rest of the UK, the future of politics, and the dwindling faith that many have in our supposedly democratic system, and THIS SMILE – this smug satisfied expression will forever be etched across the faces of people like our dear old ‘Brother Tariq’; and there will only be the establishment and ourselves to blame.
Politicalite will be revealing a LOT more over the coming weeks, will imminently be submitting a legal challenge against the result of the Peterborough by-election, and will continue to investigate and expose electoral fraud in Peterborough. If you can help us by donating towards our legal fund, to join the battle to restore democracy, please click here:
Let’s wipe that smile off of Tariq Mahmood and the Labour Party’s faces for good.