HC Deb 24 April 1890 vol 343 cc1279-80

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been drawn to the following irregularities which took place at the election of the Local Board for Wood Green, owing to the Returning Officer not performing his duties, in accordance with the provisions of the Public Health Act; that, while voting papers were taken from the same list of voters as that in use for the election of Guardians, hundreds of ratepayers were left out for the former but were included in the latter, the Returning Officer himself being a candidate in the latter case, and the election taking place within a few days of the same time; that the Returning Officer sat and gave out papers after they had been collected from the ratepayers, whereas the Act provides that such application must be made before the day of collection (Rule 49, section (a) Public Health Act); that, on the day of election, before the counting of votes was commenced, the Returning Officer caused candidates to be removed by the police simply because they had agents present; that one candidate was removed because he asked a question before the counting began, and that the counting of votes was performed in such a manner that neither candidates nor agents were able to verify the votes in any way, although the number of voting papers declared invalid was abnormally large; and whether, if these facts were corroborated, he would institute an inquiry into the case?


The Local Government Board have no jurisdiction whatever with regard to the election of members of a Local Board. If it is considered that a person who has been returned by the Returning Officer has not been duly elected, the question as to the validity of the election can be raised by an Election Petition under the Municipal Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Practices) Act.


I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether any special instruc- tions were given to the Wood Green police during the recent local elections; and, if so, on what grounds?


The answer to the hon. Member's question is in the negative.