Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Conservative Councillor denies handwriting fraud

A POLITICIAN, who ousted a Labour councillor from her seat after 23-years, has denied that bogus postal votes were written in his handwriting.

Conservative’s Eshaq Khan, who ousted the Labour councillor of 23 years, Lydia Simmons, for the Central ward in the local elections in May last year was in the witness stand today (Tuesday) at an election petition into alleged fraud.

The hearing, at Slough Town Hall, heard how
a number of bogus postal voters voted for him in Richmond Crescent, Indian Road and Diamond Road and that some of the application forms to register the postal votes were filled out by someone who had very similar handwriting to Cllr Khan.

Addressing Cllr Khan, Richard Mawrey QC, the commissioner presiding over the hearing, said: “It is suggested that these are bogus votes with your handwriting on. Before you is a very serious allegation.”

However, Cllr Khan replied by saying he did not know how this came about.

The hearing began on Monday last week and was called by Mrs Simmons. It is scheduled to last two weeks.

If anything untowards is found then a by-election could be called. Labour would need to win that and form a coalition with another councillor independent of the party to retake control it lost in 2004.



Councillor guilty of voting fraud

A Tory councillor has been found guilty of using bogus postal votes to ensure he was voted into office.

Eshaq Khan beat Lydia Simmons, an ex-mayor of Slough, Berkshire, by 119 votes to win the council's Central Ward in last year's local elections.

But a special election High Court, in Slough, convicted Khan and his agents of corrupt and illegal practices.

They are related to applications for registering to vote and postal voting. He was banned from standing again.


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