04:52 GMT +316 October 2019
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    British MEP Nigel Farage speaks during the launch of the Brexit Party's European election campaign, Coventry, England, Friday, April 12, 2019.

    Sour Grapes? Nigel Farage Calls for Investigation Into Peterborough By-Election 'Vote-Rigging'

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    As his nascent Brexit Party appears to be drifting from the headlines amidst the Tory leadership drama, Mr Farage has once again thrown himself to the fore of British politics, this time by making an unprecedented claim against the rival Labour Party.

    Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has called for an investigation into accusations of impropriety in this month’s Peterborough by-election, in which the fledgling party were defeated by a slim Labour Party majority.

    The declaration comes amidst reports of suspicious irregularities in the use of postal voting during the election, which Labour’s Lisa Forbes - who was herself engulfed in controversy after being accused of sharing anti-semitic content on social media - won by a slither of 683 votes.

    Mr Farage has made a call for an end to the postal votes system, which is typically used by people who are unable to reach the polling station, such as if they are abroad.

    At a press conference on Monday, Mr Farage said that the postal voting system is, "open to corruption, to intimidation, to bribery, to abuse on a whole number of levels."

    Furthermore, in an attempt to dismiss claims that his party is simply reacting out of anger because it lost the Peterborough election, Farage said that, "if you say it’s sour grapes, you can say it, but actually it is time for change and my ambition would be that, by the next general election, to get rid of the current postal vote system."

    Moreover, the Brexit Party’s chairman, Richard Tice, said that there have been disturbing "rumours" that the system has been used for "vote-rigging."

    The Cambridgeshire police, who include the city of Peterborough within their jurisdiction, are investigating but have said that, so far, no voter offences have been discovered regarding one allegation of bribery and two relating to postal votes.

    Despite the Police’s statements, Mr Tice said today at the London press conference that there was sufficient evidence to suggest that a "convicted electoral fraudster" had played a role in Labour’s campaign as an election agent. Tice said that he demanded "answers" and would be tabling a petition to the authorities for an investigation under the Representation of the People Act 1983, which a spokesperson said would be filed this week.

    The "fraudster" that Tice was talking about is Tariq Mahmood, who has been jailed in the past for forging postal votes, according to the Sunday Times. However, Mr Mahmood denies playing a significant role in the Labour campaign to win Peterborough.

    Despite the seriousness of the Brexit Party’s claims, the Labour Party has bitten back, dismissing the allegations as "nonsense."

    "This is nonsense. This person was not an agent for the Labour Party and was not involved in the running of Labour’s campaign in any way. This is a desperate attempt by the Brexit Party to make excuses for their defeat. Labour won the Peterborough by-election fairly and squarely," a Labour Party spokeswoman has been widely quoted as saying.

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