Cllr Alibor Choudhury: Tower Hamlets Labour - CASH For Nominations + UNDECLARED DONATIONS

The request was refused by Electoral Commission.

Dear Electoral Commission,

On Wednesday 29th January's Tower Hamlets council meeting starting at 7:30pm,
Cllr Alibor Choudhury made a statement after being questioned by
Cllr Rachel Saunders regarding the accusations of 'bogus officials
campaigning for the Mayor'.

At 2 hours, 30 mins and 40 seconds of Councils live feed of that
night, Cllr Choudhury states in response to the allegations the
following:

"This morning we recieve an envelope. About Labour...Tower Hamlets
Labour..Selling nominations. So you've got a cash for nominations
scandal in Tower Hamlets. There are members of the opposite bench,
who have bought their seats. Will you open up your books so we can
scrutinise what money's coming in and who its coming from?
Thankyou"

The exact time and link for the video can be found here:

http://www.towerhamlets.public-i.tv/core...

A screenshot of the video showing Cllr Alibor Choudhury holding up
the envelope mentioned in his statement can be seen here:

http://i.imgur.com/nhesoh5.jpg

As you can see from both the video and the image above the envelope
has these words on it:

"Tower Hamlets Labour - CASH For Nominations + UNDECLARED
DONATIONS"

My requests are as follows:

1. What are the procedures in place that handle specific criminal
charges of this sort, when such a heinous crime has been committed?
Please detail the steps involved when a Councillor is given
evidence such as this, what they should do with it, and how it is dealt with from then on.

2. How is this particular investigation into Cllr Alibor Choudhury's revelation of electoral fraud in the Tower Hamlets Labour Party going, detailing any
findings if completed, and/or detailing the steps taken so far in
the investigation, including key dates (submitance, handled by
etc), internal emails, transcripts etc.

3. What is the cost so far of this investigation to the Electoral Commission of
carrying out this investigation?

Yours faithfully,

Muhammed Iqbal

Joanne Crofton-Diggins, Electoral Commission

Thank you for your email. I am currently out of the office for a staff training afternoon and will respond to any queries on my return tomorrow (Wednesday 26th March)

If you are contacting the Commission to request any information (including requests under the Freedom of Information Act), please redirect your request to [email address].

Thanks
Jo Crofton-Diggins
Information Manager

FOI, Electoral Commission

Dear Muhammed Iqbal
 
Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 dated
25 March 2014, (received by the Commission on 26 March 2014).
 
We understand your request to be in relation to a Tower Hamlets councillor
taking cash for nominations:
 
1. What are the procedures in place that handle specific criminal charges
of this sort, when such a heinous crime has been committed?
Please detail the steps involved when a Councillor is given evidence such
as this, what they should do with it, and how it is dealt with from then
on.
 
2. How is this particular investigation into Cllr Alibor Choudhury's
revelation of electoral fraud in the Tower Hamlets Labour Party going,
detailing any findings if completed, and/or detailing the steps taken so
far in the investigation, including key dates (submitance, handled by
etc), internal emails, transcripts etc.
 
3. What is the cost so far of this investigation to the Electoral
Commission of carrying out this investigation?
 
The Commission aims to respond to requests for information promptly and
within the statutory timeframe of twenty working days.
 
You may expect to receive a reply sent from the Commission by 25 April
2014.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Danny Creighton
Information Adviser –
The Electoral Commission
3 Bunhill Row
London EC1Y 8YZ
 
Tel: 020 7271 0554
Fax: 020 7271 0500
[1][email address]
[2]www.electoralcommission.org.uk
 
 
 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/

FOI, Electoral Commission

Dear Muhammed Iqbal,
 
Thank you for your request dated 25 March 2014, (received by the
Commission on 26 March 2014.
 
Your request is in bold below followed by our response.
 
The request relates to a Tower Hamlets councillor taking cash for
nominations:
 
1. What are the procedures in place that handle specific criminal charges
of this sort, when such a heinous crime has been committed?
Please detail the steps involved when a Councillor is given evidence such
as this, what they should do with it, and how it is dealt with from then
on.
 
2. How is this particular investigation into Cllr Alibor Choudhury's
revelation of electoral fraud in the Tower Hamlets Labour Party going,
detailing any findings if completed, and/or detailing the steps taken so
far in the investigation, including key dates (submitance, handled by
etc), internal emails, transcripts etc.
 
3. What is the cost so far of this investigation to the Electoral
Commission of carrying out this investigation?
 
 
Our response is as follows:
 
Allegations of electoral fraud
The Electoral Commission does not have any statutory remit or powers to
investigate allegations of criminal offences relating to electoral fraud
in the nomination process. Our advice for anyone who is concerned that
electoral fraud may have been committed (published on our website at
[1]http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/fi...
is that they should first speak to the Electoral Registration Officer or
Returning Officer for the local area. They may be able to explain whether
or not electoral fraud has been committed, and can refer any concerns to
the police if necessary. They can also provide details of the police
contact for the relevant police force so that allegations can be reported
to the police directly.
Anyone who has evidence that an electoral fraud offence has been committed
should contact the police immediately. They should be prepared to give
them a statement and provide evidence to substantiate their allegation. If
appropriate, the police will investigate the matter. Every police force
has designated a Single Point of Contact (known as a SPOC) to lead on
election-related crime and give specialist advice to local police
officers.
Donations to political parties
Registered political parties are required to ensure that all donations
received with a value greater than £500 is from a permissible donor (more
details about permissibility are available on our website). They must also
report any donations with a value greater than £1500 (if made to a local
accounting unit of the party) or £7500 (if made to the central party) to
the Electoral Commission. The Commission has powers to investigate and
taken action where a party fails to report donations.
 
The Commission has no on-going investigation into Tower Hamlets Labour
Party. If you believe you have evidence that donations have not been
reported, please provide this to us.
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
DWCreighton
 
Danny Creighton
Information Adviser
Tel: 020 7271 0554
Fax: 020 7271 0505
[2][Electoral Commission request email]
 
 
 
 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/fi...
2. mailto:[Electoral Commission request email]

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