A fortnight ago Mr Monkey exclusively published the findings of his in depth investigation into allegations of ballot rigging by South Tyneside’s Labour council leader, councillor Iain Malcolm.
Mr Monkey’s revelations confirmed what a handful of people already knew, and what many others suspected, councillor Iain Malcolm will stop at nothing to cling on to power, including rigging elections in his favour - in this case by deliberately destroying postal votes intended for other candidates. CLICK HERE to read Mr Monkey’s revealtions in full.
On 31st March, Mr Monkey posted a second article in which he revealed the dilemma faced by Tom and Mary Taylor. They’d witnessed councillor Iain Malcolm opening postal vote envelopes and destroying ballot papers intended for the Conservative, Pat Piggott. They agonised for months about whether or not they should tell anyone about what they’d seen before finally telling all.
Mr Monkey also revealed how Iain Malcolm was willing to sign off the local party’s accounts ‘on behalf’ of Tom Taylor (he was the party treasurer) without his knowledge or approval until Geraldine White (a then executive committee member) objected to councillor Malcolm’s proposals and suggested that she should visit Mr Taylor so that he could sign off the accounts in person. CLICK HERE for more details.
TOM TAYLOR REVEALS ALL ..
True to her word Mrs White visited Mr and Mrs Taylor to discuss the annual accounts and during the course of the conversation Mrs White mentioned that councillor Iain Malcolm had proposed signing off the party’s accounts in his absence. This angered Mr Taylor who then proceeded to tell her what he and Mrs Taylor had witnessed Iain Malcolm do in their front room and explained in detail how Iaian Malcolm rigged the ballot to ensure the result went his way.
Mrs White, whose loyalty to the party was unflinching and who was “taken in” by Iain Malcolm couldn’t believe what she was hearing but knew that both Tom and Mary Taylor were extremeley honest and she had no reason to question their integrity.
It was now Mrs White’s turn to agonise over what to do next. Should she put loyalty to Iain Malcolm above loyalty to the party? She choose the latter.
SOUTH SHIELDS MP, DR DAVID CLARK TOLD ABOUT IAIN MALCOLM’S ELECTION FRAUD
Mrs White was aware that the then member of Parliament for South Shields, Dr David Clark was hoping to stand down at the 2001 local elections and that he’d been offered a life peerage and a seat in the House of Lords by Prime Minister Tony Blair. The only thing that was stopping him was his contempt for councillor Iain Malcolm who he blamed for splitting the local party into several factions and for the infighting that resulted.
He did’nt trust Iain Malcolm and believed that he was dishonest, had no integrity, was devious and had been corrupted by power.
But what worried him most was that Iain Malcolm was on the Parliamentary Panel and would be the person most likely to succeed him if he was to quit at the 2001 elections – something he was desperate to avoid.
In the meantime Mrs White decided to put the party first and contacted Dr David Clark and told him what she’d been told by Tom and Mary Taylor.
Dr David Clark asked Mrs White to arrange a meeting with Mr and Mrs Taylor as he was keen to hear for himself what they’d seen Iain Malcolm do. He also wanted to know more about the methods he’d used to ‘fix’ the election result.
A meeting was hastily arranged at which both Mrs White and Dr Clark listened intently to what Tom and Mary Taylor had to say. Tom confirmed that he’d been asked (by Iain Malcolm) to collect completed postal vote envelopes from care homes and sheltered accommodation and that he’d witnessed Iain Malcolm open the envelopes before either destroying or resealing them depending on who the person had voted for.
Dr Clark asked them to keep this matter confidential and reminded them that this highly sensitive was potentially very damaging for the Labour party. He also asked them if they were prepared to make written statements to support what they’d seen. To Tom’s credit and in spite of his illness, he agreed to provide as much information as possible and help in any way he could.
After the meeting Dr Clark and Mrs White discussed the matter at length and agreed a course of action. Dr Clark said he needed to take advise and thought that the party should be investigate the matter. However, he was deeply concerned that both the local and regional Labour party had been infiltrated by supporters of Iain Malcolm and his employer Alan Donnelly, who at that time was a member of the European Parliament and had close links at the highest levels of the Labour party.
Dr Clark felt Iain Malcolm’s antics had major implications for the party especially in view of the party’s support for postal voting. He was also worried about the press getting hold of the information and the damage that this would causes the party, especially with a General Election looming.
He was concerned that the matter would not be investigated seriously at a regional level and opted to tell senior officials at Millbank House, Labour’s national office in London.
A senior party official was subsequently asked to initiate an investigation into the matter and within days Iain Malcolm had been removed from the Parliamentary Panel of possible election candidates which put paid to any hopes he had of replacing Dr Clark as the town’s MP.
Iain Malcolm had played right into the hands of the Labour party’s hierarchy and he was solely responsible for his own deselection. His ballot rigging antics had cleared the way for someone else to be ‘parachuted in’ and it seems that the Prime Minster, Tony Blair just happened to have someone in mind.
POLICE ASKED TO INVESTIGATE
Having taken advise from Labour HQ, Dr Clark and Mrs White contacted the police and arranged to make a formal complaint about the incident. They also agreed to be interviewed and to make written statements.
They were asked to do this separately; Dr Clark attended Jarrow Police station and Mrs White attended South Shields Police station where she was interviewed by a senior police officer called Gallop.
The police agreed to carry out an investigation into the matter and Mr Monkey can confirm that councillor Iain Malcolm was subsequently arrested and interviewed under caution.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
About the same time, senior officials within the Labour party decided that they could not risk details of the incident or the subsequent investigation being made public as they felt it would harm their election prospects, especially in South Shields were the Prime Minister’s chosen candidate was about to contest the seat.
Without warning the police contacted both Dr Clark and Mrs White and advised them that no further action would be taken because the complaint had been made outside of the permitted time frame. They were dismayed by this sudden and unexpected decision and whilst they didn’t understand it, they accepted it.
Tom Taylor discussed the matter with Mrs White and expressed his concerns. He felt the party was deliberately attempting to cover the whole affair and in his opinion Iain Malcolm had got away with election fraud. Mrs White in turn sought advise from Millbank House and Dr Clark and was assured that the investigation was ongoing although the General Election would now take priority.
A full investigation was promised after the election but this never materialised.
Mr Monkey has carried out some additional research and can confirm that there is a time limit of 12 months in relation to election matters if complaints are brought under the Representation of the Peoples Act. But this complaint was about a crimes involving fraud and the interception and interference of mail and therefore should have been treated differently.
There are numerous examples of people being charged with crimes committed decades ago - CLICK HERE for details of the latest example.
TONY BLAIR EARMARKS SOUTH SHIELDS AS A SAFE SEAT FOR RISING STAR DAVID ‘BRAINS’ MILIBAND
Meanwhile in Downing Street, Prime Minister Tony Blair had recently hosted a garden party and had pulled one of his senior advisers and head of his Policy Unit to one side and asked him join him in Parliament. He told him that a General Election was imminent and that he’d earmarked a traditionally safe Labour seat for him in a place called South Shields. Apparently he also mentioned that there some issues within the local party that needed sorting out. He assured him that he’d have the help of the sitting MP, Dr David Clark and a handful of reliable party members.
This rising star was none other than David Miliband, affectionately known in Labour party circles as ‘brains’ and now the Foreign Secretary and member of Parliament for South Shields.
WHAT HAPPENED TO DR DAVID CLARK?
Sources close to Dr Clark have confirmed that he intended to stand down at the 2001 general elections but publicly he continued to deny it – that was until Iain Malcolm had been removed from the Parliamentary Panel and before the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair announced the date of the General Election.
Within days of the election announcement, Dr Clark confirmed that he would after all be standing down. This effectively allowed Labour’s National Executive Committee to ‘parachute in’ Tony Blair’s chosen candidate and rising star, David Miliband.
Shortly after Labour won the 2001 general election, Dr Clark was given a life peerage and became Baron Clark of Windemere. He was also made chairman of the Forestry Commission and he quickly disappeared off the local political scene.
This murky affair raises a number of serious issues and brings into question the integrity and honesty of the council leader, councillor Iain Malcolm.
In the 2000 local elections he cheated his way into office and surely from that moment on the public has a right to question the validity of his position - once a cheat always a cheat .
It’s time for him to stand aside whilst this matter is investigated and he should actively be encouraging the appropriate authorities to dig deep in an effort to clear his name – if you’ve got nothing to hide councillor Malcolm what are you afraid of?
If like Mr Monkey, you are appalled by this shameful act of betrayal contact the Chief Constable of Northumbria Police and ask him to investigate the matter on the grounds of public interest. At the same time you might also like to ask for an explanation as to why the original police investigation was hastily brought to an end.
The local media has a major role to play in exposing the fraud that is councillor Iain Malcolm for the benefit of the people of South Tyneside.
For months the Shields Gazette has been cynically manipulated by councillor Iain Malcolm and his minions in the press office. It’s time for the editor to make a stand on behalf of the people. Its time for the Shields Gazette to give this matter the priority it deserves and for the whole editorial team to put it’s weight behind the growing calls for a full and open investigation into this despicable act of betrayal by the borough’s most senior local political figure.
A MESSAGE TO COUNCILLOR IAIN MALCOLM
If you think things can’t get any worse, think again - Mr Monkey will shortly be publishing details of some of your other exploits including how you used a dead man’s details to join him up as a party member and how you and a handful of people illegally deselected numerous candidates by fixing the selection ballot results.