Independent reporter attacked as he investigated voting fraud

Independent reporter Jerome Taylor was left with a bloody nose after being attacked by a gang of young men while investigating allegations of postal fraud in east London yesterday.

This morning’s Independent carries an image of Taylor’s blood-covered face which was the result of him being attacked yesterday afternoon in Bow.

Taylor was visiting the area to talk to a man standing in the local elections about allegations of postal vote fraud when he was approached by two Asian teenagers.

One of the boys asked to see his notepad and when Taylor refused he was subjected to a series of blows that knocked him to the ground. He claimed the teenagers were then joined by other youths who proceeded to beat him.

‘The first punch came – landing straight on my nose, sending blood and tears streaming down my face. Then another. Then another,’Taylor wrote.

‘I tried to protect myself but a fresh crop of attackers – I guess between four and six – joined in. As they knocked me to the ground one of them brought a traffic cone repeatedly down on the back of my head…

‘I don’t know how long it lasted – it was probably only a minute – but it was a long minute. I don’t remember them saying anything as they did it. The first noise I was aware of was the beeping of a car horn and a woman screaming.”

Taylor said the noise of the attack caught the attention of a man from a nearby block of flats who protected him until the attackers ran away.

The reporter wrote today that he had visited the area to investigate claims of ‘alarmingly high number of adults registered to one address”.

Scotland Yard is looking into 28 allegations of bogus voter registration in London, Taylor wrote, but in Tower Hamlets alone election officials had ‘removed 141 suspect ballots from the register but overall 5,166 new names were received before the deadline with little time to check their veracity.”

Taylor said he did end up talking to the man he’d travelled to Bow to interview.

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