Police: no prosecutions over Rahman electoral fraud inquiry

Met police drops investigation. Pic: Alberto Otero García, Flickr

Met drop Tower Hamlets investigation. Pic: Alberto Otero García

There will no criminal prosecutions involving alleged electoral malpractice during Lutfur Rahman’s election as Mayor of Tower Hamlets in 2014, police and the Crown Prosecution Service have decided.

An assessment by the Metropolitan Police Service Special Enquiry Team found insufficient evidence of any criminal offences.

Police received 164 complaints concerning the Mayoral election on May 20, 2014, mainly involving voter intimidation. Specialist officers from the Metropolitan Police also analysed the 200-page judgement by the High Court on the alleged fraud

In April last year Rahman was found guilty of electoral fraud by a High Court judge after an election petition was launched by four local residents. Rahman was subsequently removed from office and the election declared void.

A statement by the Metropolitan Police read: “After full consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service a decision has been made that there is insufficient evidence that criminal offences had been committed.”

Tower Hamlets councillor Chris Chapman, deputy leader of the Conservative group, said: “We find it extraordinary that the police have stated that there is no criminal case to answer, particularly when one considers the sheer volume of serious malpractice uncovered during the course of last year’s trial.

“Furthermore the fact that the police refer to a High Court ‘report’ when it was in fact a judgment, is yet another sorry indictment of their inability to comprehend the full gravity of this case and the issues it brought to light. To say that we are deeply dissatisfied with the outcome of their inquiry would be a gross understatement.”

The Mayoral election in 2014 saw Rahman re-elected with 3,000 votes over his Labour rival John Biggs. Throughout his role as mayor he was widely criticised for some of his actions such as allegedly using taxpayers money to fund his campaign.

Rahman’s removal from office triggered a re-run election in June 2015 where Biggs was elected as the new Mayor of Tower Hamlets.

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