Labour’s Ian Lavery says allegations of Tory electoral fraud ‘could be political corruption of highest order’

Claims the Tories offered peerages to senior Brexit Party figures could amount to “political corruption of the highest order”, the Labour Party chairman warned, as Scotland Yard assesses allegations of electoral fraud.

Ian Lavery said the claims that the Conservatives offered Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage and his colleagues’ seats in the House of Lords in return for standing aside in the General Election are an “absolute outrage”.

His comments come after Lord Falconer wrote to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and Director of Public Prosecutions calling for a probe into what he said were “exceptionally serious allegations”.

In an interview, Lavery said:

I think it’s unbelievable what’s happened here. It really is.

If what Nigel Farage suggests is true, that Brexit Party members have been approached by senior Conservatives asking to step down with the result being peerages, what state of affairs is our politics in? It’s an absolute outrage.

This could be political corruption of the highest order and in addition to that it could be seen as criminal activity. This cannot be accepted.

Read on...

There should be undoubtedly an investigation into the situation.

The Labour former lord chancellor said the claims should be investigated as a matter of urgency and must be looked at by police in order to maintain public confidence in the integrity of the election.

His letter to Cressida Dick and Max Hill QC refers to Mr Farage’s claim that he and eight other senior figures within the Brexit Party were offered peerages.

Lord Falconer said he has seen evidence that the claims are correct, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme:

I’ve seen evidence from Ann Widdecombe that is a film in which first she says first of all that somebody from Number 10, not Boris Johnson, not Sir Edward Lister, not Dominic Cummings, first of all pushed her not to stand with, quote, ‘moral arguments’, then came back and pushed her not to stand on the basis that she be given a place in the negotiating team.

The law is that if somebody corruptly induces or procures another person to withdraw from being a candidate at an election, that is both a crime and a corrupt practice at an election, which can lead an election to be set aside.

The Metropolitan Police said it has received two allegations of electoral fraud and malpractice in relation to the 2019 General Election.

The MPS special enquiry team is responsible for investigating all such criminal allegations. Both allegations are currently being assessed,” the force said.

In his letter, Lord Falconer cites the law which refers to “bribery” and corruptly, inducing or procuring someone to withdraw from being a candidate at an election.

Farage has claimed he had repeatedly been offered a seat in the House of Lords in an attempt to persuade him to “go quietly”.

He said that when that failed, people working “deep inside Number 10” had tried to bypass him, going directly to senior Brexit Party figures and suggesting eight of them could be made peers if they could persuade him to withdraw more of his candidates.

Michael Gove denied the allegations. Boris Johnson, meanwhile acknowledged that there may have been “conversations” between senior Tories and people in the Brexit Party, but flatly denied there had been any offers of peerages, saying that was “just not the way we operate”.

Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib, when asked if the Tory Party’s denials were a lie, told Sophy Ridge on Sky:

Well, I’m saying they’re being economical with the truth for sure. Absolutely. It has been going on. Without a shadow of a doubt.

The row came amid growing pressure on Mr Farage in the run-up to the close of nominations on Thursday to stand down Brexit Party candidates in all but a few dozen constituencies to avoid splitting the pro-Leave vote.

The Brexit Party leader had already said they would not contest the 317 seats which the Conservatives had won in the 2017 election.

Suspicions that individual Brexit Party candidates were coming under pressure to stand aside were heightened after the prospective candidate for Dudley North announced he would not be running.

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  • Show Comments
    1. Just posted this –inportent post before Dec G.E. time
      Some points some Quetion
      that need addresing by Tory Gov t + Tory voters NOW!!!
      LINK to post 17.11.2019

      General Election 2019: These are the five candidates competing for votes in Lostock Hall and Bamber Bridge
      To all voter or all parties
      I am a free voter NO ties to any party in power or out of power
      I also pay No fees to any party to vote a fact!
      I and all free voter in U.K./Wales/Scotland/N/Ireland, areas
      Will not be voting for any Tory party M.P. in Dec G.E. 2019
      We will be aiding over parties to remove Tory M.P. in all local areas from their seats. (why you all ask??)
      Well the poverty + trashing of our country for Tory party members personal gains only must come to a stop in Dec G.E.
      Also, the Tory Govt constantly looking after the rich party funder but put all us resident of U.K./Wales/Scotland
      /N/Ireland in poverty while the rich get a free hand out of our taxpayer money for funding Tory party they also are now getting a say in running our country under Tory Govt now,
      Therefore, I ask this useless, perfect Tory party is the rich running our country and Not the Tory party that was put in power by its voters yes or no???
      As clarity is needed by all Tory M.P.+ Ministers before Dec G.E. by this I mean are Tory voter –voting for Boris to be a lap dog to the rich party members funding Tory party and the rich funders running things in the background not Tory party.
      As I beleave personally as a leave voter we are still in E.U. because of rich party funders pulling the Tory party + Boris’s strings and it will go on if they stay in power voters.
      Therefore if what I have put here in this post all you Tory party members think is NOT going on now Tory party member + Boris prove it to me plus voter that will be voting in DEC/2019 in U.K./Wales/Scotland/N/Ireland before Dec G.E. 2019
      Is doing all talking not Tory voters now for Tory Govt now.

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