Police looking into alleged fraud over next week's Havering Council election

Romford Town Hall

Met Police are looking into allegations of an alleged fraud connected to next week's Havering Council elections - Credit: Archant

Police are looking into an allegation that a candidate in next week’s Havering Council elections made a false declaration in their nomination papers.

Met Police, Havering Council and the Electoral Commission each told the Recorder they were aware of the issue – but none named the candidate or the ward they were contesting.

“We are in conversation with the local authority and have provided advice on this matter,” said the Electoral Commission.

“If a candidate decides to stand despite not meeting eligibility criteria, this would be a matter for the police.”

The police confirmed to the Recorder that they are looking into the alleged offence, which was reported to them by a member of a rival party on April 13.

"We have received information relating to the nomination of a candidate in Havering,” said the Met. “The information is being assessed.”

Havering Council confirmed it had already been approached by officers.

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"We are aware of the allegation and the council has shared information that it holds with the police,” a spokesperson said.

If the allegation proves true, the result of the election in the relevant ward could be legally challenged – but in the meantime, the election will go ahead.

Havering Council said there was no duty for claims on nomination papers to be scrutinised before an election is held.

"The returning officer must accept nomination forms on face value, provided they have been completed correctly,” a spokesperson said.

“The returning officer has no power to look behind the face of the form. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that they meet the qualification requirements and are not disqualified from standing.

"As things stand, the candidate will appear on the ballot paper and their nomination can be challenged through the courts after the election by way of an election petition, if one is brought forward."

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