John Biggs: Court could rule on election result

By Jon Massey on July 2, 2014 10:20 AM |

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COMMENT

By John Biggs

Having failed to become Tower Hamlets mayor, I am busily throwing myself back into the joy of City Hall.

For a candidate an election is a very public, and thrilling, adventure. But afterwards normal life must go on.

And in a democracy we live with the result. Even if it did feel, shall we say, a bit "dodgy".

Since my last column an Election Petition has been lodged with the High Court, challenging the result.

Of the four petitioners, only one is known to me, and she didn't tell me she was doing it until the deed was done!

An Election Petition is a technical document but at its heart it asks a judge to convene a special election court at which its challenges can be examined. The court can then decide what should be done.

The challenge has three main points. First, that there were voting irregularities, particularly but not just the misuse or "farming" of postal votes.

Secondly, that there were false statements against a particular candidate (me!).

Thirdly, that the counting of votes was so chaotic and poorly managed that uncertainty remains about the result.

I remain a good loser, provided it was a good competition. But I am becoming clearer by the day that, remarkably, in this mother of democracies, it could ultimately be declared that the election was bent.

Certainly, a lot of people think so. It is of public interest to find out and restore faith in our system.

■ John Biggs is London Assembly Member for City and East