AN ELECTION result may hang in the balance following claims that a council official was mugged and a ballot box tampered with on the way to the count.
The development occurred as candidates, party agents and staff gathered Woodview School, in Edgbaston to count votes for the Harborne ward.
It added drama to a knife edge contest between the defending Tories and Labour challengers in the ward.
According to politicians at the count a ballot box was late arriving. When it eventually turned up and official claimed to have been mugged on the way from a polling station to the school.
The council was forced to declare a result, but with a ballot box in doubt and a close vote a by-election or legal challenge could follow.
A council spokesman said: “An allegation has been made with regards to ballot boxes in Harborne.
“The police were informed and are currently making enquiries.
“The law states the council has to count and declare a result – it is then up to individuals or parties to make a decision on whether to challenge a result through the courts.
“The council and police are working closely together on this matter.”