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Labour suspends Newham branches over alleged electoral fraud

The East Ham and West Ham branches are now banned from holding meetings (Credit: Westhamlabour.org) 

The Labour Party has suspended both its branches in Newham over allegations of electoral fraud.

The East Ham and West Ham constituencies are being investigated by the party after it received “a significant number of serious allegations” over “the conduct of Labour Party members and membership recruitment practices in Newham”.

An email sent to party members say the accusations are “wide ranging” but relate to “irregularities in new member sign ups over a sustained period”.

It added the claims are “supported by a considerable amount of evidence”.

Neither branch will be able to conduct meetings until the investigation is complete and a full audit of the membership has been carried out.

The message also says the party will wait to choose a candidate for the upcoming by-election in East Ham Central but confirmed they will have selected one “in time” to contest the seat in May.

The email tells members the Metropolitan police is also conducting an investigation, but a police spokesperson contradicted the claim.

The Met’s media officer Callum Jones told Time 107.5: “In August 2020 the MPS received a report alleging electoral malpractice in the borough of Newham. An assessment was completed which concluded that no police investigation was required.”

A Labour spokesperson said: “Labour takes all complaints extremely seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate action is taken.”

The left-wing news site Skwarkbox quoted un-named party “members” reacting to the news.

“The draconian act of suspending both CLPs will seriously impact on morale and members support,” read a statement.

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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