Making a meal of the next step
Over 200 Respect supporters attended a thank you meal in Newham, east London. Respect won three councillors in the borough in the local elections.
There was also a meeting for all Respect candidates beforehand to discuss the next steps for Respect in the area.
Reaching out in Westminster
Respect activists in north Westminster in central London met last week to build on Yvonne Ridley’s success in polling 23 percent of the vote in Church Street ward.
Every home in the ward will be leafleted with the first issue of a regular newsletter highlighting local education and health issues and containing a form in English, Arabic and Bengali enabling people to register to vote.
Main opposition in Sheffield
Sheffield Respect is hoping to capitalise on the great success it had in the local council elections.
Maxine Bowler gained 1,208 votes in the Bungreave ward, finishing second.
Maxine said, “We are now the main opposition to Labour in the area. We got out onto the doorstep and talked to people about representing them.
“We are going to continue that. We are leafleting the 1,200 people who said they would vote for Respect.
“We also plan to set up shadow surgeries and go through the process of re-establishing the tenants’ associations. We also want to get more people to register to vote and join Respect.”
Tower Hamlets voters missed out
Campaigners in Tower Hamlets are continuing to expose the flaws in the postal voting process in the east London borough.
Jackie Turner from Tower Hamlets Respect said, “I am flabbergasted that Tower Hamlets council says it is confident that its postal ballot checking systems were watertight in the run up to the 4 May election.
“There is overwhelming evidence of systematic postal vote fraud throughout the borough.
“In Mile End East, for example, out of 8,049 people eligible to vote, 379 applied for, and were granted postal ballots in the eight days before applications closed. This is 4.7 percent of the electorate in eight days.
“Some 143 voters had their postal ballots diverted to addresses other than where they live. During the campaign we came across a number of people who had received letters from the council telling them that their votes had been diverted. All were bewildered as to why this had happened.
“It is far too easy to obtain a postal vote, and far too easy for the ballot to be diverted. People who do not understand the system are easy prey for those who wish to abuse it for their own electoral advantage.
“Thousands of people in Tower Hamlets were disenfranchised in the elections.”