Watchdog issues by-election warning to Tower Hamlets

The elections watchdog has ordered the London borough of Tower Hamlets to put in place precautions to prevent a recurrence of the extended delays to the count in last month's European and local council elections.

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Rahman accuses ministers of 'lack of transparency'

The Council has cooperated with the inspection team from the outset and this will continue whilst we attempt to secure reasonable clarification centred on the justification of the audit.

In addition the Department for Communities and Local Government has failed to provide the council with any cost estimates for the audit apart from the vague statement that costs are likely to be 'within £1million'.

This cost is to be borne by local taxpayers and this lack of transparency - over what is being audited and under what grounds - is not in line with the principles of public sector transparency that the Secretary of State has himself championed.

– Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets

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Voters 'must vote unhindered' in by-election

Councillor Peter Golds said: "I want to see the police ensure that anyone can enter a polling station without hindrance from groups of people trying to canvass them as they try to go in."

Councillor Peter Golds Credit: Simon Harris/ITV News

He added: "I also want the police to ensure that when people are inside the polling stations voters vote unhindered and people are allowed to cast their vote in private."

Call for police action to prevent voting intimidation

Tower Hamlets Tory leader Peter Golds is demanding police action to prevent intimidation at Thursday's by-election. Three seats are being contested by 21 candidates in Blackwall and Cubitt Town ward.

Police officer outside a polling station in Tower Hamlets in May Credit: Press Association

The Electoral Commission has ordered the council to avoid a repeat of May's election count fiasco.

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