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Derby City Labour councillor elected with fraudulent votes must now resign

July 26, 2013 7:05 PM
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

Reacting to the news of the convictions of five people charged over offences relating to the Arboretum Ward Election in 2012, Head of Campaigns for Liberal Democrats in the East Midlands, Cllr Stuart Bray, said:

"I welcome the convictions of these people who deliberately set out to interfere with the democratic process of the election and illegally bias the election in favour of the Labour candidate.

"This ward was hotly contested and the Labour candidate won with a majority of just 14 votes. We now know that this election was not fair and open and, in the words of the Crown Prosecution Service, these people fraudulently set out to "boost the number of votes for the Labour candidate.

"The only honourable course of action left for the Labour Councillor elected at the time is for him to acknowledge that he did not win fairly and immediately resign his seat so a fresh election can be held, and the true verdict of the people of Arboretum Ward can be made known.

"I drew this incident to attention of the Chief Executive of Derby City Council back in May 2012. We now wish to see a root and branch investigation as to how Derby City Council choose their polling station and counting staff. Members and activists of Labour, or any other party, should not be allowed to oversee the running of the election, and systems must be put in place immediately to restore confidence in the democratic process.

"Finally, we would like to praise the diligence of the Police for carrying out a thorough investigation despite obstacles put in their way, and to the CPS for bringing these prosecutions.

"The Judge has repeatedly said today that these people were not the instigators of this fraud. We now hope that a further investigation is carried out to find those who masterminded this deception."

The Facts

Farhatullah Khan

Farhatullah Khan

The offences relate to the Derby City Council Election in Arboretum Ward held in May 2012. Labour's Gulfraz Nawaz was declared the winner with 1757 votes. Liberal Democrat Farhatullah Khan received 1743, Simon Hales for the Green's got 248 and the Conservative, Ross McCristal, came last with just 186.

Nasreen Akhtar, who was a polling station clerk, pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office. Her nieces Tameena and Samra Ali pleaded guilty to voting as people other than themselves. Akhtar's brother Abid Sabir and another women, Noshiela Maqsood admitted perverting the course of justice.