Miliband defends Falkirk inquiry

Ed Miliband has defended his handling of the Falkirk vote-rigging row, insisting there is no need for Labour to reopen its inquiry amid claims that evidence from a key witness was withdrawn without her consent.

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No Labour plans to 'reopen' Falkirk vote-rigging inquiry

Labour has refused to reopen its inquiry into the Falkirk vote-rigging row amid claims that evidence from a key witness was withdrawn without her consent.

The Party's former chancellor, Alistair Darling, has suggested that the issues around the contest in the constituency should be looked at again.

Shapps: Unite were up to 'shadowy tricks in Falkirk'

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps has accused Unite of "shadowy tricks in Falkirk". Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps has backed calls from former Labour chancellor Alistair Darling to reopen the inquiry into the Falkirk vote-rigging scandal.

In a statement, Mr Shapps said: "Alistair Darling is the latest senior Labour figure to blow the whistle on Unite's shadowy tricks in Falkirk.

"Union bosses up there have been pushing Ed Miliband around, fixing Labour seat selections, intimidating families and their young children, and signing up people as Labour Party members without their knowledge.

He added: "Ed Miliband has been totally silent about this ever since he caved in and cancelled Labour's inquiry. If Ed Miliband is too weak to stand up to his union paymasters, then he is too weak to stand up for hardworking people."

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Unite deny any wrongdoing over Falkirk selection

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey has called for the union to move on from the row. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Unite the Union have denied any wrongdoing by members throughout the candidate selection process in the Falkirk by-election earlier this year.

In a statement reacting to Labour's refusal to reopen its inquiry into the vote-rigging row, the union said:

"Specifically, Unite entirely denies any involvement in or knowledge of the forging of signatures on application forms or of any documents whatsoever; the coercing of individuals to join the Labour party.

"Unite called for an independent public inquiry into what happened in Falkirk, and we remain entirely happy to assist such an inquiry, and draw appropriate lessons from it if necessary, should one be established."

Darling: Labour should 'reopen' Falkirk inquiry

Labour former chancellor, Alistair Darling, says issues around the Falkirk vote should be looked at again. Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Labour's refusal to reopen its inquiry into the Falkirk vote-rigging row comes as the Party's former chancellor Alistair Darling and Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont suggested that the issues around the contest in the constituency should be looked at again.

"Something has gone very wrong in Falkirk. There needs to be a very thorough investigation," Mr Darling said in a television interview.

"I understand the police are looking at matters now.

He added: "If they proceed, then that is what'll happen but if they don't there needs to be a full inquiry and I am quite clear that the results have to be published because that is the only way in which people will be satisfied that justice is done and been seen to be done."

Labour: Falkirk vote-rigging inquiry to remain closed

Labour has refused to reopen its inquiry into the Falkirk vote-rigging row amid claims that evidence from a key witness was withdrawn without her consent.

A party spokesman said Lorraine Kane had been asked about quotes in the Daily Mail suggesting she had not intended to retract her complaint about alleged irregularities in the candidate selection process.

However, she confirmed that she stood by the sworn statement given to the party's probe in September, according to the spokesman.

It was that affidavit which was part of the reason that led the Labour Party to conclude there was insufficient evidence to proceed with our inquiry.

Therefore we have not seen any new evidence to justify further action.

– Labour spokesman
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