Dr Julian Lewis: May I put on the record my personal admiration for the heroism of those people who took this matter to the electoral court? Does the Minister agree that it would be a betrayal of their courage if the police, for reasons of political correctness, were not to follow through on what appears, in the case laid out by the hon. Member for Poplar and Limehouse (Jim Fitzpatrick), to be an open-and-shut matter of criminality?
[The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office (John Penrose): My right hon. Friend anticipates my next remarks, because we all owe a debt of gratitude to the four petitioners. We have heard that they were pretty heroic in the way they pursued this matter. They were not dissuaded. There were plenty of points at which lesser people might have backed away, but they did not take those opportunities and they pursued the matter through thick and thin. On occasion what they had to put up with was pretty thick and pretty thin, yet they continued throughout. We owe them a debt of thanks, particularly those local to Tower Hamlets. ...]