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Tory candidate Gulfam Wali cleared of vote fraud

Walsall | News | Published:

A former Tory election candidate has been cleared of any wrongdoing after he was arrested on suspicion of postal vote fraud.

A former Tory election candidate has been cleared of any wrongdoing after he was arrested on suspicion of postal vote fraud.

Gulfam Wali, aged 33, who was never charged with any offence, said he was relieved after West Midlands Police told him the matter had been dropped. He has vowed to stand again in 2012.

He was arrested last May held by detectives probing claims that postal votes in the Walsall ward where he stood for election were inappropriately used. Mr Wali, of Neale Street, Birchills, who failed to get elected in Pleck ward, was arrested by detectives from the specialist economic crime team on suspicion of personation, which is an allegation that votes have been cast in other people's names.

"I am delighted with the outcome," he said. "I have no idea where the allegations came from. Whatever I have done has always been for the community and I have done it from my heart.

"I was confident the truth would come out. The level of support that I have received from the community and colleagues has been tremendous."

The investigation was the first West Midlands Police operation of its kind and related to the 2010 polls.

Det Sgt Paddy Gillece, of West Midlands Police economic crime unit, said: "All allegations of electoral malpractice are treated seriously and investigated fully by West Midlands Police.

"We can confirm this investigation has been discontinued following consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions."

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Walsall Council leader Mike Bird said: "I am extremely pleased that there is not action to be taken.

"The party will not tolerate anybody who tries to manipulate the electoral system."

In September last year another Tory councillor, Palfrey's Mohammed Munir, was found not guilty of electoral fraud during the 2008 local elections following a trial at Birmingham Magistrates Court. He has decided to step down since the case.

His son Ali Munir was jailed for 12 weeks in December for falsifying votes.

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