A man convicted in 2008 of electoral fraud has been pictured alongside Labour activists campaigning for the local elections in Peterborough. Tariq Mahmood received a 15 month prison term in relation to fraudulent postal votes in the city. He was convicted alongside another Labour activist and Mohammed Chaudhary, former Labour mayor of Peterborough.
Despite the photographic evidence that emerged over the weekend, Labour has denied that Mahmood is part of their campaign team ahead of the May 6 elections. A spokesperson told the Peterborough Telegraph: "Mr Mahmood is not a member of the Labour Party. He does not have a role within our campaign and he is not permitted to have access to Labour Party data or technology. We have robust systems in place to protect the integrity of the vote". However, in the photo (see below) he is seen pointing to a piece of paper that may be a copy of the electoral roll. None of the four men in the photo are holding bundles of leaflets, so the activity in question appears to be a canvassing session, in direct contradiction to Labour's claim of denial.
|Tariq Mahmood (circled) pictured on Saturday|
As for Mahmood, he told the Telegraph that he merely bumped into the activists as he was on his way to get a hair cut (despite the fact he's bald): "There were people standing there with a couple of boards and I had a picture with them. I am 100 per cent not part of their campaign". What is that piece of paper you're holding then Tariq? A discount flyer for the barbers?
This is not the first time Mahmood has been seen out and about with Labour activists. He was a prominent figure in the Peterborough by-election of 2019, which Labour narrowly won ahead of an expected gain for the Brexit Party. Mahmood was photographed several times on Labour's campaign trail and even attended the count, but again the party denied that he was part of their campaign.
|Tariq Mahmood pictured with Labour's candidate Lisa Forbes, who would later|
win the Peterborough by-election in controversial circumstances
|Mahmood pictured shaking hands with then Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn|
during the Peterborough by-election campaign in 2019
|Mahmood was present again in this publicity shot|
|Mahmood took this selfie as Labour activists celebrated Labour's narrow|
victory at the election count
The aftermath of the Peterborough by-election was marred by allegations of electoral fraud, although Cambridgeshire Constabularly later dropped their investigation citing a lack of evidence.
Mahmood was also prominent in Labour's local election campaign a couple of months earlier and posted 23 photos from the campaign trail to his Facebook page, writing: "Brilliant day out campaigning for Labour today". The party's persistent claims that he has nothing to do with them is not simply unbelievable, it's a blatant lie.
|Mahmood pictured with disgraced Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya|