I feel your “dismissal” of the election fraud concerns of the Conservative Party in Halifax were, at best glib, and at worst shameful (Leader Comment, 9 November).
As someone who was involved with Philip Allott’s campaign for four years and also in suspecting voter fraud in the constituency I feel this issue, which is elsewhere as well, is worthy of more consideration than simply drawing a line under it. If fraud is permitted via whatever means then it encourages more and will grow like a cancer. The fact that it cannot be pinned down with evidence does not mean you should publish a headline saying, “Fraud, what fraud?” as if it didn’t really occur.
When there are so many postal votes delivered on the day of the election (always thought the idea of a postal vote was that you were away on election day) and a vast number of them are rejected because they are not valid in itself speaks volumes. The fact that across the country the concerns of voter fraud seems to focus on Labour seats clearly has a common denominator but evidence overrides suspicion in this country.I fail to understand why anyone would think that the party workers would seek out and identify, then produce a dossier of suspected fraud, purely as “bad losers”. The hours and efforts put into this were immense but the resulting evaporation of evidence and witnesses is frightening me more than the alleged election fraud itself. As your report said in a quote from the Halifax Chairman Roger Simpson, “We are disappointed that certain witnesses have withdrawn their statements....” . Why have they withdrawn their statements, under what pressure and from whom?
If those who made statements have been put under pressure to withdraw them then have the police asked them both why and from whom they have been visited? If not the why not?
I would also ask Linda Riordan who, as reported in your columns that, “she didn’t waste time making unsubstantiated allegations to the police....” If she really feels the claims are fabricated then she should say as much and call us liars. If not then she should choose her statements more carefully.
Finally I also thought our MP showed her immaturity yet again when she claimed to be “grown up” over this. She then proceeds to state, “The Tories picked the wrong candidate and he needs to go back to Knaresborough and be silent”.
Petty, childish and to think she is my MP!