Final electoral fraud investigation into Peterborough by-election ends as police find no offences committed

Police have ended their fifth and final investigation into alleged electoral fraud at the Peterborough by-election.

Monday, 15th July 2019, 5:45 pm

Cambridgeshire police has been investigating five allegations relating to the June 6 by-election which was won by Labour’s Lisa Forbes.

Officers had previously declared that no offences were committed in relation to one allegation of bribery, two relating to postal votes and one relating to the burning of ballots.

Now, the same conclusion has been reached into the final allegation, a breach of the privacy of the vote.

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A polling station at City College Peterborough at the recent by-election

Ms Forbes won the by-election by 683 votes, narrowly pushing out the Brexit Party’s Mike Greene into second place.

However, the result has led to a flurry of allegations of electoral fraud, with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage describing Peterborough as a “rotten borough” over the postal vote fraud allegations.

Conservative deputy leader of Peterborough City Council, Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald, also alleged there was “harvesting” of postal votes.

The election saw 9,898 postal votes returned at a rate of 69.6 per cent, with 400 rejected.

Labour has consistently dismissed the allegations, describing them as “nonsense” and a “desperate attempt” to excuse a defeat.

The Brexit Party last month lodged a petition at the High Court calling for the allegations to be investigated.