Police investigate Mayor candidate for ‘election offence’

The police have been asked to investigate a possible case of electoral fraud involving one of the candidates standing to become Croydon’s first executive Mayor in this Thursday’s local elections.

A formal complaint has been filed to the Metropolitan Police raising concerns that the Taking The Initiative Party candidate Farah London, also known as Farah Farazad, fails to meet the candidate qualifications required to stand for election in Croydon.

Home sweet home: 12 months ago, Farah London gave her home address as Tower Hamlets

Farazad-London has failed to respond to repeated enquiries from Inside Croydon about whether she really does have a home in Croydon or any properly established business premises.

The police have become involved because the office of the election’s Returning Officer, council chief executive Katherine Kerswell, says it cannot investigate the matter and remain impartial over the conduct and organisation of the borough-wide poll on May 5.

London is a former supporter of the Conservative Party and backer of Boris Johnson.

According to Companies House records, she has continued to use the surname Farazad in business as recently as September 2021.

What’s in a name: Farah London has been using the name Farazad as recently as September 2021

But in May last year she stood as “Farah London” as an independent candidate in the London Mayor elections.

Then she attracted just 11,000 votes and finished 14th, behind other fringe candidates including Peter Gammons, of UKIP, an Animal Welfare candidate, anti-vaxxer Piers Corbyn and Count Binface.

At that election, Farah London gave her home address as being in Tower Hamlets. A number of her campaign photographs and videos this year have shown London on the balcony of an apartment with the Tower of London or Tower Bridge in the background.

While in her election literature Farazad-London has stressed that she was born in Croydon, that of itself is not enough to qualify as an election candidate in the borough.

Boris Johnson supporter: Farah Farazad in the days when she was a loyal Tory

Quite within her rights, she has withheld the detail of her home address from ballot papers and material distributed to voters, but she will have had to submit a home address or business premises in the borough of Croydon, established over the whole of the previous 12 months, with her nomination papers in order to qualify to stand as a candidate for elected Mayor.

Inside Croydon understands  that it is these details that the Metropolitan Police have been asked to check and verify.

According to Croydon’s electoral services department, in addition to being at least 18 years of age, and being a British citizen, an eligible Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of any member state of the European Union, a candidate must meet one of these four qualifications:

1, You are, and will continue to be, registered as a local government elector for the local authority area in which you wish to stand from the day of your nomination onwards.
2, You have occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the local authority area during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of the election.
3, Your main or only place of work during the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election has been in the local authority area.
4, You have lived in the local authority area during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of the election.

According to a council source, “Given that 12 months ago Farah London was standing in public elections when living in another borough, there must be considerable doubt whether she meets the qualifying requirements.”

Public record: Farah Farazad’s Companies House records show a string of directorships, some companies in liquidation, and none of them registered in Croydon

Companies House public records show Farazad-London as a director of a string of businesses, some unsuccessful and placed in liquidation. None of the companies listed is registered at a Croydon address.

According to the council’s electoral services department, “There is no right to objection to a nomination paper at this election, and there is no mechanism in electoral law for a Returning Officer to investigate the qualifications or the name of a candidate as included on the nomination papers.

“There is case law which makes clear that Returning Officers must not undertake any investigation or research into any candidate and that their duty does not go beyond seeing that a nomination form is correct on its face.

“Providing false information on a nomination paper is an election offence, and would be considered a corrupt practice.

“Only the police would be able to investigate this.”

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in 2022 council elections, 2022 Croydon Mayor election, Croydon Council and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Police investigate Mayor candidate for ‘election offence’

  1. Jess Walker says:

    “The police have become involved because the office of the election’s Returning Officer, council chief executive Katherine Kerswell, says it cannot investigate the matter and remain impartial over the conduct and organisation of the borough-wide poll on May 5.”

    Katherine Kerswell once gain ducking a job of work. She should give the Returning Officer wage which amounts to over £30,000 to a food charity in Croydon. Who is this entitled bigwig parachuted in with zero connection with Croydon. We are being taken for fools again.

    • In this instance, Kerswell’s office, and indeed the offices of every Returning Officer across the country, are constrained by the law from doing this.

  2. Paul Romain says:

    It’s a pity you’ve chosen to go after one of the few decent candidates

    • You appear to have confused “reporting the facts” with “going after”.

      Your definition of “decent” might need a bit of work, too, if it is to encompass someone who – subject to the findings of the police investigation – has knowingly put herself up for election where she is not qualified to do so (it’s known as election fraud).

  3. Farah London says:

    Hi Steven, Farah London here, I have been to the police voluntarily with the evidence of my candidacy, as your accusations are false. Also not once have you contacted me ever. Also I’m divorced Farazad was my married name years ago. Anyway your not a real journalist as you clearly do not fact check. You will be hearing from my lawyers.

    • Hi Farah. Steven here.

      Not for the first time, you appear to be somewhat confused about how the election system works, and also about what constitutes the truth.

      Inside Croydon has made no “accusations”, as you falsely claim.

      We have simply reported facts. Facts which are in the public domain, on matters which you have been most reluctant to address.

      Conducting political stunts for a campaign video outside a police station is not “voluntarily” coming forward at all. You appear to be unaware that there is a special Metropolitan Police unit at Scotland Yard – far closer to your home in Tower Hamlets – that deals with the conduct of elections. Looks like the only person wasting police time has been you.

      Your marital status is, by and large, a private matter in which we have little or no interest. It is the manner in which you conduct yourself in public affairs which is entirely a matter of legitimate public interest. That said, if you seek to distance yourself from your married name, why were you still using it for business purposes as recently as September 2021 – as shown in Companies House records?

      But the simple question that you have refused to answer is: in which borough will you be casting your vote in this week’s elections?

    • Jamie Wilkes says:

      Nasty tory estate agent just in it for yourself. No ideas except vapid self promotion and far right crap. Show some shame.

    • Dave Russell says:

      “not once have you contacted me ever.”
      “your not a real journalist”

      I certainly wouldn’t want someone that illiterate as Mayor!

      She doesn’t say if “London” was her maiden name, or changed by deed poll.

      “You will be hearing from my lawyers.” I bet you don’t!

    • Mike Smith says:

      Maybe this is your opportunity to clarify the situation rather than make threats?

  4. London Bridge says:

    “Farah London”, jesus wept. Just another nasty, brain dead Tory emboldened by Brexit to force their arrogant narcissim on us.

    Just get in the bin Farah

  5. Barry Wilkins says:

    Farah “not really” London, sitting in her luxury apartment, furiously Googling her name all day and leaving spluttering, poorly spelt comments articles.

    She’d be embarrassed if she had a shred of self-awareness.

  6. Dave Russell says:

    Never having heard of this woman until this week I looked at her Facebook page.

    A post dated 27th February includes a picture of a woman, standing next to Ms London, holding a piece of cardboard with “Croyden [sic] deserves better” painted on it.

    I couldn’t agree more.

  7. Ian says:

    What do we think Farah will change her name to after she loses? Farah London-Mayor? Farah Vote-Me? You can give yourself as many fake names as you like, you’re still a nasty vacuous self promoting tory estate agent that nobody will vote for. The appalling arrogance of thinking you can just post some pouty pictures where you look like regional sales manager of a carpet cleaning company instead of having any ideas. Oh, and learn to spell.

    Pathetic.

    • Dave Russell says:

      Remarkably she got 6 per cent of the votes – many times what I had expected. I wonder why those 5768 voters thought she should be mayor!
      No doubt she has already added “mayoral candidate 2022” to her CV.

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