myPolitico has uncovered information relating to Lisa Forbes and the Peterborough by-election held on 6th June 2019.
Serious concerns were raised by many on social media with regard to the conduct of this by-election, though the Acting Returning Officer Gillian Beasley stated in a briefing note from the 10th June (link) that there was no wrongdoing in the process, concluding that:
“…if someone has the requisite evidence in order to apply for an election petition then they can do so using the link set out above or alternatively report evidence of a suspected election offence directly to the police.”
Well, we have the evidence, including that the ARO herself has politically dodged the question about convicted electoral fraudster Tariq Mahmood’s presence at the count, stating that:
“…Tariq Mahmood was not at the election count in any official capacity.”
Due to the requirement to maintain confidence in, and secrecy of an election, the public cannot just wander in and out of the counting hall. In fact, according to the Electoral Commission’s own guidelines:
Not only was Mr Mahmood present at the count (as seen below), but he was present for several weeks along the campaign trail, since the local elections, along with Labour Councillor Shahzad (Shah) Nawaz, who was one of two primary backers for Lisa Forbes’ campaign.
Not one to miss out on the extra votes, Jeremy Corbyn also made an appearance, meeting both, along with Lisa on a number of occasions.
In fact, evidence we have gathered shows direct links between several people.
Mr Nawaz is a director at Gladstone Connect Ltd, where electoral fraudster (and ex-mayor) Mohammed Choudary was a director until 2008. Nawaz is also director of AA Accountants Ltd where Aasiyah Joseph/Yusef (another proposer for Forbes’ campaign and Labour councillor) was a director until 2015.
Mohammed Haseeb, another Labour councillor and campaign backer for Forbes, is a director at Sovereign Accountants, based at the same address as most of Nawaz’s companies. A letter from Ofcom (link) dated 2014 addressed to Haseeb at Acorn Academy Day Nursery where Nawaz is the director.
Another Forbes backer, Jhangir Ahmed works for the BBC.
And finally, Colin Watson likes to make antisemitic comments.