A Birmingham City Council election candidate whose wife was arrested over alleged postal vote fraud last night gave a statement to police.

Liberal Democrat Mohammed Khan (pictured) visited Stechford Police Station the day after raids on two homes in Bordesley Green led to police recovering a quantity of postal voting forms.

Mr Khan, who is standing for election in the Nechells ward, refused to answer questions from The Birmingham Post when he arrived at the station with his solicitor at 7.30pm.

Earlier in the day, Mr Khan's wife, who is not a Lib Dem member, was barred by party chiefs from carrying out any further duties as an activist.

Despite the allegations, Mr Khan will almost certainly stand at next week's elections as no action will be taken against him by his party until the police investigation has been concluded.

The Lib Dems would not be able to replace Mr Khan with another candidate as the deadline for nominations passed 11 days ago.

Coun Paul Tilsley (Sheldon), deputy leader of the council and leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said: "I have had a very useful meeting with the police and I think that the people of Birmingham can take confidence from the fact that the system has been vastly improved and the Lib Dems are cooperating fully with the police.

"I have got to wait until the police have completed the investigation until we take any action. But we take any abuse of the system very seriously and that is why I have spent the last two days trying to sort out this situation."

The arrest of the 50-year-old wife of Mr Khan on Wednesday came as police recovered a quantity of postal voting forms at an address in Ronald Road, Bordesley Green.

Other material was found by officers specialising in preventing potential electoral fraud during another search at a house in neighbouring Hob Moor Road.

The woman was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud the local election process. She was later released on police bail.

Det Insp Simon Wallis, of West Midlands Police's economic crime unit, said officers had been working for months to keep next Thursday's ballots above board.

He said: "We have been proactive in terms of trying to spot election fraud and have been working since January towards these elections.

"We act very quickly if we come across something we suspect is fraud. That is what the public would expect us to do. The whole nature of how we have worked with the city council is to keep ourselves at the forefront of things, having seen how elections can go."

Mr Wallis confirmed others were set to be spoken to as part of the latest inquiry.

City council leader Coun Mike Whitby said that following next week's elections, the council would implement a pilot scheme to combat fraud based on a system used in Northern Ireland, to ensure elections are fair.

He added: "I look forward to setting the foundations for stronger democracy in Birmingham that will not only help prevent those who wish to cheat the chance to do so, but will repair our battered reputation."

Labour has called for all parties to adopt its own candidates' pledge to not visit the homes of postal voters or handle their ballots.

Almost 60,000 postal voting forms have been issued ahead of the council elections, about 10,000 fewer than the last local elections two years ago. n Police are investigating an alleged assault on a Birmingham Post reporter on Wednesday night at the address which was previously raided by police in Hob Moor Road, Bordesley Green.