Shelina Akhtar: Councillor loses Spitalfields and Banglatown seat in Tower Hamlets

Benefit fraud councillor Shelina Akhtar has lost her place on Tower Hamlets council a month after being jailed for her crimes.

The council confirmed late this afternoon that there will be a by-election for Spitalfields and Banglatown ward, which Akhtar represented from 2010.

A council spokeman said: “We can confirm that the returning officer has published the notice of vacancy for Spitalfields and Banglatown ward.

“The next step is for two electors from the borough to write to the returning officer requesting that he fill the vacancy. There is a statutory timetable which states that from the request by two electors the by-election must be held on a Thursday within a maximum of 35 days – excluding weekends and public holidays.”

The disgraced former councillor was sentenced to three-and-half months after being convicted of claiming housing and council tax benefits while subletting her flat for more than �1,000 a month.

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