A Bradford MP has called for postal voting to be scrapped, claiming it was “wide open to manipulation and fraud”.

Bradford West Respect MP George Galloway (pictured) has written to the Electoral Commission alleging “widespread intimidation and manipulation” in Bradford and other areas this year.

His letter said: “Once a ballot paper leaves the privacy of the polling booth, individuals can be visited by influential and powerful individuals who ask that the ballot papers are filled in in front of them.

“To refuse to do so in certain circumstances would be viewed as an act of betrayal.”

It added: “Nor is this problem confined to certain communities where extended family and clan loyalties allow this manipulation to take place.

“Any and every individual who has a ballot paper in their house rather than the polling station can be subjected to varying forms of intimidation.”

A spokesman for the Electoral Commission said: “We will get back to him in the very near future.”