The Independent London Newspaper
24th May 2017

Heads must role for polling debacle

    Published: 12 May, 2016

    • I THANK the voters of Barnet and Camden for re-electing me to the London Assembly, for a second term, with such an overwhelming majority?

    Can I especially thank those Jewish constituents who supported me, despite the issue of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party? 

    Without their backing I would never have been able to win.  

    I promise that I will do all I can to continue the fight to root out anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and all other hatreds from our party and from United Kingdom politics as a whole.

    Equally the Conservative Party must look to itself, over their Islamophobic election campaign, so well seen through by the voters of London, who voted for hope not fear, unity not division.

    A few words about the dreadful maladministration of the election in Barnet. 

    Not for the first time, there have been woeful errors in the conduct of the election though this time the result would not have been affected given the huge majority – even though hundreds, if not thousands, of voters lost their franchise through what can only be called schoolboy errors over the electoral register at every one of the polling stations. 

    There were also howlers over the compilation of the register with streets left off, with postal and proxy votes, and others besides.

    This is where the Conservatives’ policies of never-ending cuts, privatisations and complete lack of scrutiny and oversight leads. 

    There must be a swift and public investigation, to allow all those who lost their vote be heard, and urgent remedial steps taken. 

    Heads must roll, as Barnet has become a national laughing stock as a consequence. 

    In the meantime, Barnet ought to ask Camden Council, who ran a trouble-free election day, to take over their election department to ensure there is no repeat in the forthcoming European referendum. 

    I now look forward to working for the next four years with our Labour Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, implementing his programme to address the desperate need for affordable housing, freezing transport fares, and restoring neighbourhood policing.

    ANDREW DISMORE
    Labour London Assembly Member, Barnet & Camden

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