Met Police quizzed by London Assembly on Tower Hamlets election fraud

Battle for Tower Hamlets town hall

Battle for Tower Hamlets town hall - Credit: Archant

Top cops are facing the ‘third degree’ today after being summoned to City Hall for questioning about Tower Hamlets election fraud.

The London Assembly is putting the Met Police under the spotlight and holding Mayor Boris Johnson’s Office to account.

The Assembly’s Crime committee this-afternoon looks into the findings of HM Inspectorate of Constabulary’s investigations into the Met’s performance and is publicly cross-examining Deputy Mayor Stephen Greenhalgh, Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey.

The questioning on the Met’s performance for the last 12 months includes handling election fraud complaints following last month’s High Court judgement on the 2014 voting for Tower Hamlets mayor which was overturned and is being re-run in three weeks’ time.

Widespread allegations were made about postal ballot tampering and intimidation at polling stations—with criticism that police were not taking the allegations seriously.

Evidence emerged in the judgement of 47 allegations reported to police about malpractice.

Scotland Yard has since appointed a detective superintendent from the Homicide and Major Crime Command to take charge of a review of the 200-page judgement that banned Lutfur Rahman from office.

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Assembly members plan to throw in questions about the 164 complaints of malpractice that Scotland Yard has confirmed it received during the 2014 election.

Committee members will quiz the commissioner on his pledge to protect “the integrity of the democratic process” in the re-run election set for June 11 and what security is planned at polling stations.

Other topics the committee is raising this-afternoon include the Hatton Garden safety-deposit burglary and the latest violent crime figures for London.

The session, open to the public, begins 2.30pm at City Hall in Queen’s Walk on the Southbank opposite the Tower of London.