Nelson house 'with 27 voters' brought up in Parliament

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: How the Lancashire Telegraph broke the story How the Lancashire Telegraph broke the story

A HOUSE at the centre of an electoral vote investigation has been brought up in Parliament.

Pendle MP Gordon Prentice has put forward an early day motion in the House of Commons calling for individual voter registration after it was revealed that 27 people living in one house in Nelson were down to vote.

Would-be Liberal Democrat MP for Pendle Mohammed Afzal Anwar, a barrister, shares the property at 214 to 216 Manchester Road with another 26 voters, according to the Register of Electors.

Police launched an investigation after allegations were made to Pendle Council and Lancashire Constabulary by the Labour party in Pendle.

Now Gordon Prentice has put forward an early day motion calling for individual voter registration saying that the current system of only one person in a household needing to fill out an electoral registration form is out-dated.

He is also calling on Pendle Council to explain where they got the information that the house is three properties, when planning permission was granted and what council tax status the house has.

He said: "We are still running checks but I want to see individual voter registration regulations. The idea that one person in a household can certify the others as eligible dates back to Victorian times where the man of the house did everything - this belongs to a different age.

"All the cases of election cheating are polluting and degrading the election process. I strongly believe that everyone aged 18 and over should have to sign an electoral registration form to be able to vote."

A spokesman for Pendle Council said: "I can confirm we have had a letter from Gordon Prentice raising the points and we will be responding to it soon."

Mr Anwar said there was nothing untoward about the number of voters living at his terraced home which is 214 to 216 Manchester Road, Nelson, and consists of two houses knocked into one.

He said that 27 people were registered to vote at the property, but that not all were resident in this country at any one time.

Mr Anwar said no postal or proxy votes would be requested for the property.

Liberal Democrat councillor Tony Greaves hit out at Mr Prentice saying: "If Mr Prentice had genuinely wanted the information he could easily have asked Pendle Council staff or even looked at the Council website.

"Instead Mr Prentice has sought to stir it up' by once again hiding behind parliamentary privilege in a manner which seems to me to be both cowardly and morally wrong."

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