Monday, 20 September 2010

If it's Monday, it's Uppal Day

Yes, it's that time of the day when I crack my knuckles and ponder new ways to keep my errant MP honest. 

Firstly, a correction. I implied on Friday that his company, Pinehurst Securities, might be in trouble, which seems to be wrong. My fault for relying on a commercial credit-check site rather than going to the Companies House information. Thanks to my Deep Throat for that information. 

On to business:

Dear Mr Speaker,
I would like to draw your attention to statements made in the House by Mr. Paul Uppal, Member for [The Dark Place]. He has made repeated claims that he has been the victim of electoral fraud. In particular, and most recently, he told the house on 15th September 2010 (HC Deb, 15 September 2010, c896):

I ask the Minister to take on board my deep concern about postal voting fraud. Although I welcome individual registration, I fear that it will not wholly tackle that problem, to which I have referred before.
In my constituency-I must choose my words carefully, because the case is currently being investigated by the Electoral Commission-200 more votes were cast than electoral ballots were issued. I want to impress on the Minister a point that was raised with me recently by a constituent. He said that Labour Members were going from door to door asking if people wanted them to help them to fill out postal voting forms.

I have written to Mr. Uppal to ask him whether he has reported his suspicion to the Police: he has not replied, despite some months passing since he first raised the matter in the House - certainly the local media have no knowledge of any investigation. 
I now believe that he has - perhaps deliberately - misled the House on this matter. I wrote to the Electoral Commission asking whether they were indeed investigating any instances of electoral fraud in this constituency. They replied:
The Commission is not investigating any allegation of fraud in Wolverhampton South West. We made initial enquiries about an error in the count at the 2010 general election. However the matter was closed with no further action as a result of all parties accepting the result of the count.
In a subsequent letter, the EC informed me that:
We are aware of Mr. Uppal's MP statement and we will be contacting him to clarify the matter with him.
As far as I can see from these statements, Mr. Uppal knew from very soon after his victory in May 2010 that no investigation was ongoing. Could you therefore look into this matter, as I'm concerned that the reputation of the constituency is besmirched by unfounded innuendo of this sort, and that the House has been misinformed for partisan purposes? 
The Plashing Vole

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