And, in the time-honoured tradition of Bordesley Green, Aston etc,we have allegations of massive vote fraud.
Police are investigating the worst outbreak of voter fraud at a Birmingham City Council election for five years (i.e. since the previous council elections in the area - LT).
Almost 400 postal votes cast at Thursday’s Sparkbrook ward by-election – a third of the total issued – were rejected as likely forgeries.
Council officials, backed by the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, called in the police after saying they suspected an organised plot to influence the result of the by-election, which was won by Respect candidate Shokat Ali.
In 2004, Birmingham was likened to a “banana republic” by Elections Commissioner Richard Mawrey QC, who investigated hundreds of forged ballot papers at that year’s city council elections.
Birmingham Labour leader Sir Albert Bore said those behind the alleged fraud at Sparkbrook had attempted to destroy the electoral process.
Sir Albert added: “Nearly 400 postal vote ballot papers were rejected because of inconsistencies in either the date of birth or the signature of the elector.
“It is appalling that even after a number of very public concerns and enquires into postal vote fraud, the election process in Sparkbrook has been undermined by individuals who have, in a number of ways, attempted to submit postal vote ballot papers of electors other than themselves.
“The fact that around 30 per cent of all postal votes cast – and there were almost 1,800 postal votes cast in this by-election – were rejected clearly illustrates the magnitude of the fraud being perpetuated.
“Birmingham’s reputation for honesty and integrity at election times has again been undermined.”
But it hasn't got such a reputation. It's got a reputation for fraud and dishonesty that would disgrace a banana republic - or in Brum's case, a kuthlama republic..
Be interesting to see who the fraud was in favour of. My money's on Labour, although they've pretty much all - except Respect - got previous. Grudging but sincere credit to Respect, who are actually against postal voting.