Shelina Akhtar fails to appeal her jail sentence but Tower Hamlets Council ‘cannot confirm’ whether she remains a councillor

Disgraced councillor Shelina Akhtar is not appealing against her three-jail sentence for benefit fraud.

A custodial sentence of more than three months automatically bars a councillor from office but the independent Spitalfields and Banglatown was able to continue as a councillor until her appeal period ended yesterday.

Tower Hamlets council will not confirm this morning that she is no longer a councillor saying they are still waiting for formal confirmation from the court to say she has not appealed.

But Snaresbrook Crown Court confirmed to the Advertiser this morning that Shelina Akhtar has not appealed her sentence.

Akhtar is considered a close ally of independent Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman and a by-election for her seat is now expected.