Tower Hamlets police are investigating the harassment of an ex-Liberal Democrat councillor after offensive posters were put up in the borough.
The posters, which accused Nigel McCollum of paedophilia, were displayed in public areas near the former Bow East councillor’s home.
Detectives say no arrests have yet been made, but that they are “actively pursuing several lines of enquiry.” The offence is being treated as a hate crime.
Friends and neighbours alerted McCollum about the posters on November 29.
Tower Hamlets Liberal Democratic leader Stephanie Eaton said: “To post anonymous homophobic attacks about a resident and former councillor simply because he has raised legitimate questions about public spending is cowardly and unacceptable.”
Eaton added: “Nigel and I believe this to be a serious homophobic attack, and one that is aimed at stopping him from continuing his political activities.”
The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, offered McCollum his full support and sympathy on his website.
Rahman said: “There can be no place for homophobia and hate in Tower Hamlets. Those who attempt to promulgate it must know that there will be consequences to their actions.”
Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “It’s outrageous that Nigel McCollum has been smeared as a child sex abuser on the cowardly, anonymous posters. The people making theses charges should have the guts to identify themselves.”
“The insinuation that gay people are paedophiles is mud-slinging and homophobia of the worse kind. Allegations like these could lead to Nigel suffering unjustified violent attacks. This is irresponsible, reckless and could potentially endanger a man’s life.”
Police are asking anyone with information leading to the identity of those responsible to call the Community Safety Unit at Limehouse Police Station on 020 7275 4758, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.