The Metropolitan Police is reviewing the 200-page judgment of the Electoral Court to determine if there are grounds for a criminal inquiry into the affairs of former Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman.
They have appointed a detective superintendent from the homicide and major crime unit to lead the review.
It has emerged that the judgement by Electoral Commissioner Richard Mawrey, who sat as a High Court judge contains five allegations new to police, of which four are being examined to see if a criminal investigation should be conducted.
In a statement, the Met said that due to the exceptional circumstances, the time limit to criminal proceedings has been extended. Usually, a criminal investigation must start within one year of the criminal activity having taken place.
They said: “Police are unable to start a criminal investigation into the fifth allegation as the one-year time limit had expired before we were aware of the allegation.”
They also stated that they had sought advice from the Crown Prosecution Service special crime and counter terrorism division, due to the complex nature of the case.
Rahman was dismissed as mayor of Tower Hamlets last Thursday when he was found guilty by Mawrey of electoral fraud and bribery in the 2014 mayoral election and was said to have been untruthful in court.
As many as 164 complaints of electoral malpractice were reported to the Met after the election, but no charges were ever brought. The review of the High Court report has identified new material that officers are now considering in connection with 47 of the allegations originally reported to police, said the Scotland Yard statement.
The Met appointment comes after news that Rahman’s party, Tower Hamlets First, had been removed from the register of political parties.
The Electoral Commission released a statement saying the party’s removal was because the party “no longer had in effect an approved financial scheme as required by the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act”.
It went on to explain that it was not the commission’s duty to monitor a political party’s financial scheme, and that it was up to the party to do so.
The statement did say, however, that the party’s original submission to the commission had included all the correct paperwork.
Rahman announced on Thursday night that Rabina Khan, a Cabinet member for housing in Tower Hamlets, would be running in June’s re-election.
But there was some confusion over how she would do that if the party was no longer registered.
Members of Tower Hamlets First were unavailable for comment at the time of publication.
Anyone with information regarding electoral malpractice should contact the police by email at SETelections@met.police.uk or by calling 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.