Corruption fighter Erlam starts crowdfund to take on Met Police in court
- Credit: Mike Brooke
Anti-corruption campaigner Andy Erlam whose High Court action brought down Lutfur Rahman’s Tower Hamlets administration has started a crowdfund campaign this week to sue the Met Police.
His home in Bow was raided by police just six days before his landmark legal case began when he was accused of perverting justice.
But no evidence was ever found and police dropped the action without explanation.
Andy and his three election co-petitioners won their six-week battle in 2015 when the court overturned Rahman's re-election the year before over fraud and ballot rigging. Rahman was barred from public office for five years and later disqualified from practicing as a lawyer.
Now Andy is going after the police, having failed to get answers about why he was arrested.
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"Officers raided my home accusing me of attempting to pervert the course of justice—but later admitted they had no evidence," Andy told the East London Advertiser.
"There has never been a satisfactory explanation. The only way now to start legal action. Correspondence has got us nowhere."
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So he has started his crowdfunding to raise £15,000 to cover court issue fees and a premium for legal insurance. It follows stalled attempts to use Rahman's property assets to settle court costs from his 2015 High Court costs.
"Voter fraud destroys democracy at the most basic level," Andy added. "It's a 'human rights' issue. I was helping to expose a massive industrial-scale voting fraud.
"But the police were unhelpful throughout and it's still unclear why. The truth will only come out if the police are brought to account.
"My legal action will force the Met to explain their actions, in court if necessary. But it takes funding."
His election petition has helped to improve security at the polls, but the petitioners now faced mounting legal bills topping more than £1 million.
The original £250,000 court levy imposed on Rahman in 2015 remained unpaid, apart from £7,000 seized from a bank account.
His property assets in Bow and Whitechapel were later frozen, which further added to the petitioners' long-running costs. All the petitioners have gained out of it is a little terraced cottage in Bromley-by-Bow to be sold off to recover their costs, but worth just £250,000—while other property in Whitechapel worth £3m has managed to slip through their fingers.
Police failed obtain the 27 files of evidence already presented to the High Court for their investigation, a public hearing at City Hall was later told. A second police investigation was ordered in 2017 by the London Assembly, which also failed to result in any criminal prosecutions and cost the taxpayer £3m.
The Advertiser has contacted Scotland Yard about Erlam's crowdfunding move and is awaiting a response.