This is how a Tory Brexiter & ERG member rigged our EU referendum
Peter Lilley, a prominent Tory Brexiter and ERG member was a senior non-executive director of Idox Group, the company that was in charge of processing almost 1/5 of the total votes counted at the EU referendum.
Postal voting in the United Kingdom before an ERG member took charge of Idox Group
According to the UK Election Statistics: 1918-2019: A Century of Elections by the House of Commons, before the ERG member, Peter Lilley became the senior non-executive director of Idox Group, the percentage of postal votes was relatively low, never exceeding 5%:
|Number of postal ballot papers issued||Covering envelopes returned before close of poll||Postal votes Number||included in count % of all postal ballot papers issued||Postal votes as % of total|
As a matter of fact, the percentage of postal votes in UK general elections didn’t increase much until 2002, after a Tory Brexiter and ERG member, Peter Lilley became a senior non-executive director of Idox Group, the private company contracted by the British government to process postal votes in the UK, whereby the postal votes enjoyed a significant increase from:
– 5.0% in 2001 to 12.7% in 2005;
– 12.7% in 2005 to 18.8% in 2010; and
– 18.8% in 2010 to 20.7% in 2015.
Idox Group was also contracted by the British government to manage the postal votes received and counted at the EU referendum in 2016.
33,551,983 British voters voted at the EU referendum, and acccording to the UK’s Independent Fact Checking Charity – Full Fact, instead of the 8,500,000 postal ballots issued during the EU referendum, only 86% or around 7,310,000 postal votes were counted in the final vote.
In terms of percentage, out of the total votes counted at the EU referendum, 21.79% were postal votes.
Peter Lilley, a Tory Brexiter and ERG member
Coincidentally, Tory MP Peter Lilley, the senior non-executive director of Idox Group was also an ERG member and supportive of the Eurosceptic pressure group Leave Means Leave.
Surely this is a apparent conflict of interest, whereby Peter Lilley, a prominent Brexiter and ERG member was a senior non-executive director of Idox Group, the company that was in charge of processing postal votes counted in the EU referendum, whereby 1,190,000 ballot papers issued were not included in the final count in the EU referendum.
How could the British government allow a company with a senior non-executive director who backed Brexit in the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum to be in charge of verifying postal votes at the EU referendum?
The postal votes are neither issued nor verified by the government or the electoral commission, because this process was outsourced to Idox Group.
Over the past years, Idox Group has been entrusted with managing postal votes in the UK, including the Independence Referendum in Scotland, the EU Referendum and general elections to issue ballot papers to British voters and verify them before issuing them to the Electoral Commission.
Postal voting agents representing political candidates are entitled to be present at the opening session of postal votes to supervise the verification process of the postal votes received.
However, postal voting agents representing political candidates are entitled to verify only the postal votes that are presented to them by Idox Group and they can’t verify either whether they are the authentic ones or include all the postal votes issued by British voters.
The postal votes in the EU referendum were rigged and illegal
According to David Hencke, Idox Group have broken the law because they bypassed the verification procedures in the counting of postal votes in the 2015 General Election:
“Another acquired subsidiary of Idox, Opt2Vote, was found to have broken the law by ignoring legal verification procedures in the counting of postal votes in the 2015 General Election following a complaint by a count observer. An analysis by the elections watchdog, the Electoral Commission, upheld the complaint stating that postal voting counts in Birmingham, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fife, Dundee, Aberdeen, Ayrshire, Moray, Scottish Borders, Angus and Clackmannanshire did not comply with the law.”
Yet, despite Electoral Commission’s conclusion that postal votes managed by Idox’s Opt2Vote in 2015 General Election didn’t comply with the law, the following year Idox Group is contracted to manage the postal voting in the EU referendum.
According to the Electoral Commission’s “Part B – Planning and organisation Referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union: guidance for Counting Officers” people associated with referendum campaigns are not allowed to be a part of processing postal votes.
According to the EU referendum rules set out by the Electoral Commission, Idox Group broke the electoral law because its senior non-executive director, Mr Peter Lilley is an ardent Brexiteer who is keen to leave without a deal and EU rules campaigned at the local University, which he admitted in an interview for Brexit Central when asked about the his most memorable moment during the referendum campaign:
“When at a debate at my local university, the vote swung from 75% pro-Remain before the debate to 55% pro-Leave after hearing the arguments – which of course most students had been sheltered from throughout their education.”
Therefore, according to the Electoral Commission, Idox Group broke the EU referendum electoral law by keeping Peter Lilley employed because he was a referendum campaigner in connection with the referendum!
Despite breaking the electoral law, Idox group was contracted to process postal votes in 2019 General Elections
Idox Group broke the electoral law, however, this didn’t stop Boris Johnson’s government to contract them to manage postal voting in the 2019 General Election, hence the impressive Tory result.
According to Byline Times, by giving a lucrative contract to Idox Group without competitive tendering to revamp the management of the electoral register in extraordinary circumstances for the 2019 General Election, Boris Johnson’s Government breached EU rules, which requires that any construction and works tender above £663,450 should be put out to competition law, through public procurement.
Considering that Jeremy Corbyn managed to increase the Labour membership to a record high and that the number of young voters prone to vote against Brexit has increased since the EU referendum, one would have expected fewer voters to endorse Boris Johnson’s “Get Brexit Done” campaign.
It looks like the Cabinet Office’s decision to break the law by contracting postal voting to Idox Group was a good decision for the Conservative party because, according to Dominic Raab, Tories did well on the postal votes in the 2019 General Election:
This was also confirmed by the BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, who stated that postal votes that are in are looking pretty grim for Labour:
The mission of every private company is to satisfy their clients and Idox Group did an outstanding job in delivering a satisfying electoral result for their client – the Conservative Party.
This is how a Tory Brexiteer and ERG member rigged our democratic vote in the EU referendum and Idox Group continued to do so in our 2019 General Election.