Daily archives: May 4, 2005

Straw’s seat is a hot spot of postal vote fraud claims

The Independent – Straw’s seat is a hot-spot of postal vote fraud claims: In the Lancashire constituency of Blackburn, where the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, is defending his 9,249 majority, the vote-rigging allegations have intensified as polling day nears.

“I’ve come from Uzbekistan to Blackburnistan,” says Craig Murray, Britain’s former ambassador to the central Asian republic who is campaigning to unseat the Foreign Secretary. He left the Foreign Office after speaking out against the Government’s use of intelligence obtained by torture.

“This is very much a Labour rotten borough,” he said. “There is a nexus of the police, the authorities and business – if we were in the Soviet Union, you would say mafia.”

The jailing of a Blackburn city councillor – an Asian Muslim representing Labour – for rigging postal votes in the May 2002 local elections has failed to silence the rumour mill. Voters in the Muslim community, which makes up almost a quarter of the electorate, say now they are being strong-armed by mosque leaders and councillors to vote Labour. The number of postal votes registered in Blackburn is 20,000, compared to 7,600 in 2001.

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You CAN beat Labour vote rigging

Blackburn is buzzing as the campaign reaches its climax. Volunteers and well-wishers continue to stream into our campaign office, and there’s every sign that an upset may be on the cards.

Craig Murray’s election address has finally been released by the Post Office, and delivered to every household in the constituency. His message is a simple one: You CAN beat Labour’s postal vote rigging.

An astonishing 16,000 postal votes have been requested in Blackburn alone, and there are widespread fears of fraud.

This isn’t just about the illegal war in Iraq, and the lies that were told to take us there – it’s about democracy itself. If you’d like to join the fight for the last hectic days of the campaign, do drop by our office on 15 Railway Road, Blackburn, or telephone us on 01254 695 919 / 07979 691085.

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