Birmingham’s former lord mayor Mohammed Afzal is facing investigation for election bribery for handing gifs to voters during his campaign.

Labour politician Mr Afzal, 78, brought legal action seeking to overturn a result in council elections held in May last year.

Mr Afzal, withdrew his election petition after a doorbell footage showed him with associates and appearing to hand over packets of dates bearing Labour Party stickers.

One piece of footage showed the associates heard saying the package was “from the Labour Party and Mr Afzal”.

In another, those receiving the package were then told to “vote Labour number one”.

Following the emergence of the videos, Mr Afzal’s barrister told High Court Judge Richard Foster it would be “impracticable” to continue with the petition to overturn the vote.

Mr Afzal was said to be standing in Aston, a Labour stronghold where two Liberal Democrat candidates were instead elected.

According to Judge Richard Foster, there was ‘conclusive evidence that indeed Mr Afzal, and his supporters did supply electors with packets of dates containing Labour Party stickers on a wide-spread basis during the campaign.’

Mr Foster said the disputed election happened during Ramadan – in which eating dates was a traditional way for Muslims to round off their fast.

The judge allowed Mr Afzal to withdraw his petition, commenting that there was ‘overwhelming evidence served on behalf of [his rivals] of illegal election practices in which he participated’.

The judge said explained he was sending a copy of the judgement to the director of public prosecutions and awarded each of the victorious candidates an interim payment of £10,000 towards their costs.

Mr Afzal brought the petition after claiming that the Liberal Democrats, Ayoub Khan, a barrister and Mumtaz Hussain made ‘false allegations’ to sway voters in the ward.

The 78-year-old was Britain’s first elected Muslim Pakistani councillor in 1982.




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