Richard Mawrey , QC, the deputy High Court judge sitting as an election commissioner, was obstructed by the Labour Party at every turn.
A lone star, he has had to pick his way through scenes that would have astonished a sheriff in a frontier town. The councillors found by police in the warehouse at midnight on the eve of the election in Birmingham's Aston ward, surrounded by unsealed postal ballots; the box containing postal votes all in the same hand and same ink, and all for Labour; witnesses refusing to give evidence fearing for their children's lives; a lawless Wild West in which the number of postal ballots had mushroomed from 24,000 to 70,000 in one year. The city's returning officer agreed that the overwhelming number of ballots made it more difficult to spot fraud.
Time to call in EU election observers?