The Mayor of Tower Hamlets has demanded the resignation of a councillor who pleaded guilty to housing fraud, describing the man’s actions as a “scandalous breach of trust”.
Tower Hamlets councillor Shahed Ali, who is the Independent Party councillor for Whitechapel, pleaded guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court on September 26 to one count of housing fraud under section three of the Fraud Act 2006: fraud by failing to disclose information. He did not disclose that he owned two properties when completing a housing application form for a council tenancy.
Mayor John Biggs said: “In my view anyone who tries to defraud taxpayers has no place sitting on the Council, if he had any integrity whatsoever he would apologise and resign. Indeed he should have done that months ago.”
Biggs went on: “Shahed Ali’s conviction should send a tough and clear message to anyone who believes they can get away with housing fraud.
“For an elected representative this is particularly shameful behaviour and a scandalous breach of trust. After the criminality and corruption of the previous administration, of which Shahed Ali was a part, it is I suppose of little surprise that he would intentionally rip-off the residents he was elected to serve.”
A Tower Hamlets spokesperson said: “Following Cllr Ali’s guilty plea, we will now await his sentencing, which will take place on Thursday, October 27.”
If he is jailed or given a suspended sentence, Ali risks being disqualified as a councillor under the 1972 Local Government Act.