Police clarify ‘no evidence’ statement: investigating grants to Brady Youth Forum

Tower Hamlets Town Hall

Tower Hamlets Town Hall - Credit: Archant

Police are investigating grants of public money given to the Brady Youth Forum by the council, according to a “clarification” statement issued by the Met.

Yesterday, police said they will not be investigating Tower Hamlets Council after finding “no evidence of criminality” in files provided by the government on allegations of “poor management and fraud”.

However, it added that a wide-ranging audit of council files, ordered by local government secretary Eric Pickles following a BBC Panorama report, is ongoing.

Today, the Met confirmed it was investigating grants to the Brady Youth Forum at the request of the council, but that this probe pre-dates the Panorama report and the government files.

The statement said: “A report was made to Tower Hamlets Police on March 20 by Tower Hamlets Council.

“The report concerned an irregularity with regards to money being awarded to the Brady Youth Forum, in January and April 2013, that was identified by an internal review.

“This investigation is being carried out by Tower Hamlets CID.”

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Police added that its first statement meant there are no “new” Met investigations into council grants to do with BBC Panorama or the three files provided by Mr Pickles ahead of the audit.

The clarification follows a BBC London online report that noted the Brady probe was taking place.

A spokesman for the council said: “It is crucial to emphasise that Tower Hamlets Council itself referred the Brady Youth Forum to the police to investigate, as part of our normal procedure of assuring our grants to organisations. We took this action pre-dating the Panorama programme.

He added: “The fact the police are investigating the Brady Youth Forum in no way detracts from the statement that the Met Police issued which says there is no credible evidence of criminality within the files they examined connected to the Panorama programme.”

The BBC has stood by its Panorama programme, saying it had not alleged criminality and that the Met had not been investigating the allegations in its report.