Police end fourth investigation into alleged electoral fraud at Peterborough by-election

Police have ended a fourth investigation into alleged electoral fraud at the Peterborough by-election.

Wednesday, 3rd July 2019, 12:40 pm

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

Officers have previously declared that no offences were committed in relation to one allegation of bribery and two relating to postal votes, and now a fourth allegation - the burning of ballots - has also led to the same conclusion.

This leaves just one outstanding 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 week lodged a petition at the High Court calling for the allegations to be investigated.