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Erlam threatens legal action as police drop prosecution over Tower Hamlets ‘election scam’

PUBLISHED: 18:44 16 March 2016 | UPDATED: 00:25 17 March 2016

Lutfur Rahman at rally in Mile End after being barred from office in April, 2015

Lutfur Rahman at rally in Mile End after being barred from office in April, 2015

Archant

The petitioner whose High Court action brought disgraced Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman down for election malpractice has reacted with anger at today’s Scotland Yard claim of “insufficient evidence that criminal offences had been committed”.

Anti-corruption campaigner Andy ErlamAnti-corruption campaigner Andy Erlam

Anti-corruption campaigner Andy Erlam is now threatening to take out private summonses against Rahman supporters he accuses of having lied to the Election court.

He also accuses the Met Police of “dragging its feet” over the evidence presented in the court almost a year ago in which the judge urged them to thoroughly investigate the charges made.

“It’s very shocking that police say there’s insufficient evidence,” Erlam told the East London Advertiser today.

Andy Erlam (left) and one of the four other Election petitioners Azmal HusseinAndy Erlam (left) and one of the four other Election petitioners Azmal Hussein

“There is the impression that there’s no ethical policing in the East End, that the Met Police are protecting Rahman—but how do you prove it?”

The decision about “insufficient evidence” follows police consultations with the Crown Prosecution Service, after an 11-month assessment of evidence from the 200-page report by Judge Richard Mawrey, QC, in April last year carried out by specialist detectives.

Erlam, who led a team of four petitioners in the High Court following corruption and malpractice in the 2014 election for mayor which gave Rahman a second term, insisted the Met’s decision not to prosecute offenders identified during the six-week hearing was “outrageous”.

High Court trial judge Richard Mawrey (inset) who overturned 2014 election for Tower Hamlets mayorHigh Court trial judge Richard Mawrey (inset) who overturned 2014 election for Tower Hamlets mayor

He added: “The Met has never properly followed up detailed allegations submitted by me and many others.

“The police continue to turn a blind eye to Tower Hamlets and are protecting Rahman and others.

“So we will now consider taking private prosecutions against them.”

Tower Hamlets CouncilTower Hamlets Council

That police investigation did identify five new allegations, one of which could not be pursued as the one-year time limit had expired before police were aware of the allegation, Scotland Yard has revealed.

It also identified new material related to 47 allegations originally reported to police.

The Met received 164 complaints of election malpractice over the discredited May 2014 election which was overturned and re-run last June, with Rahman banned from office until 2020.

Every allegation was recorded and investigated to see if any criminal offences had been committed, it said. Only two people were ever cautioned—and there is one criminal trial outstanding.


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