William Eichler 10 September 2018

Not enough evidence to prosecute in Tower Hamlets fraud case, Met says

Not enough evidence to prosecute in Tower Hamlets fraud case, Met says image

An investigation into allegations of fraud in Tower Hamlets has concluded that there is not enough evidence to prosecute those involved, although evidence of a ‘serious criminal offence’ has been uncovered.

The former mayor of Tower Hamlets in east London, Lutfur Rahman, was forced to step down after an election court found him guilty of corruption in relation to the 2014 mayoral election.

Mr Rahman has not, however, faced criminal prosecution.

In May last year, the Met launched an investigation - Operation Lynemouth - to reinvestigate previous or new criminal allegations relating to the election.

There was not enough evidence to consider a criminal prosecution.

‘The MPS [Metropolitan Police Service] undertook this new investigation because it recognised there were concerns about the previous police investigations, and it was important to identify any immediate matters for action in advance of the 2018 mayoral election in Tower Hamlets,’ said Commander Stuart Cundy, who oversaw the investigation.

‘A team of specialist detectives, led by one of our most experienced senior investigating officers, have reviewed thousands of pieces of information and witness evidence over the past 15 months.

‘The reinvestigation has concluded that, whilst there were some areas for improvement, overall the previous police investigations into electoral fraud, including the Met’s Special Enquiry team investigations, were conducted effectively.’

‘I know some will remain concerned as to why the criminal investigation has not led to persons being convicted of a criminal offence,’ Commander Cundy continued.

‘As explained in his judgment, Mr Mawrey QC was clear that the rules and procedures for the admissibility of evidence in an election court is quite different to criminal proceedings.

‘In reaching its conclusion that there is insufficient evidence to seek any new charging decision for a criminal offence, our reinvestigation has robustly considered all the evidence that is available.’

Despite not finding sufficient evidence for a criminal prosecution in relation to electoral fraud, the investigation did identify ‘prima facie evidence’ of a serious criminal offence, which is not directly related to electoral fraud.

Commander Cundy said they had obtained early investigative advice from the Crown Prosecution Service and specialist legal counsel, and the City of London Police have agreed to undertake a full and separate criminal investigation.

A spokesperson for Tower Hamlets Council said: 'This is a judgement for the police and the CPS to make, and we have fully cooperated with their investigation.

'There have been substantial improvements across the council since new leadership and management was put in place in 2015.

'We now have solid governance, much greater transparency and accountability, all of which have been recognised by the government and other organisations.'

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Head of Looked After Children and Vulnerable Young People

Enfield London Borough Council
Up to £89,319
 This is an exciting opportunity to lead all the services that support Enfield’s children in care and care leavers. Enfield (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Enfield London Borough Council

Head of Communities

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
to £61,751 (pay award pending)
We are looking for an innovative and knowledgeable senior professional to join our leadership team with strong experience of working in communities... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Economic Development Officer (Town Centres)

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band F, £29,636 - £32,878 per annum
The Economic Development Officer (Town Centres) post forms part of the Council’s Business Focus team who provide help directly to businesses. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Educational Psychologist

Camden London Borough Council
£44,131 - £53,34
The ideal candidates will have an excellent understanding of psychological frameworks and their application in... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Economic Development Officer

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band F, £29,636 - £32,878
Are you interested in a challenge and want to help shape the future of North West Leicestershire? Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue