Call for fair elections

ELECTION PLEA Shehzad Hussain, Mark Eastwood and Khizar Iqbal.
ELECTION PLEA Shehzad Hussain, Mark Eastwood and Khizar Iqbal.

A call for free and fair elections has been made by three Dewsbury Conservative candidates after allegations of electoral fraud and voter intimidation at previous elections.

Khizar Iqbal, Mark Eastwood and Shehzad Hussain have called on candidates from every political party in the three Dewsbury wards, the chief executive of Kirklees Council Adrian Lythgo, and the poice to sign up to a public pledge to ‘keep it clean’ ahead of local elections later this month.

Three people were cautioned by police as part of an investigation into electoral fraud in Dewsbury South after the 2012 council elections.

Kirklees has also been identified as a high risk area for voting fraud by the elections watchdog.

Dewsbury West candidate Mr Hussain said: “As someone who has lived in Ravensthorpe all my life, I’ve witnessed some extreme instances of voter intimidation by candidates and political activists.”

Returning officer Mr Lythgo said he had not been presented with any evidence of widespread electoral fraud in his time at the council.

He added: “Over the last two years I have also worked closely with all political and non-political party leaders to develop a local code of conduct where all candidates and agents could help to ensure that elections are conducted freely and fairly and to increase confidence that each elector has cast their own vote.

“This is over and above the requirements of the current Electoral Commission Code.”