Police alone decided 'no criminal case' in Lutfur Rahman's Tower Hamlets corrupt 2014 election, Solicitors Tribunal reveals
PUBLISHED: 18:00 24 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:00 24 January 2018
The Met Police failed to consider a raft of 27 files of damning corruption evidence against Tower Hamlets ex-mayor Lutfur Rahman over election fraud and malpractice in public office, a solicitors’ tribunal report concludes.
The findings backs allegations made at a London Assembly committee a year ago by current mayor John Biggs and opposition leader Peter Golds that they failed to prosecute anyone in the Rahman camp over ballot forgery and intimidation in the 2014 election that was later overturned.
The decision not to prosecute was made by the police rather than the Crown Prosecution Service, according to today’s Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal findings into last month’s hearing when Rahman was struck off for bringing the legal profession into disrepute.
“The decision that there was ‘insufficient evidence’ was made by the Metropolitan Police itself,” it states. “The Met had not considered 27 files of evidence before the Election Court (that banned Rahman from office in 2015)”.
This vindicates the Labour mayor who took over from Rahman and the Tory councillor who raged against Met Commander Stuart Cundy at a City Hall hearing waving evidence at him that he says police had ignored.
The set to led to a special police ‘task force’ to re-examine all the evidence presented to the Election Court in 2015 when Rahman was banned from office for five years.
Tower Hamlets Tory Opposition leader Peter Golds told the East London Advertiser today: “Yet another highly-qualified body of legal experts lay out the scale of corruption presided over by Lutfur Rahman.
“It also destroys the perennial allegations of ‘racism’ by Lutfur Rahman and his party colleagues as a method of intimidating anyone who questions their corruption.”
Today’s report describes Asian-born Rahman’s discredited 2014 election campaign as “reprehensible, orchestrated, deliberate and dishonest” in falsely accusing a white political rival of ‘racism’.
He had also improperly used public funds to amass electoral support which the hearing found to be dishonest, the report says.
“His misconduct in politics rather than his practice as a solicitor was irrelevant,” it concludes.
“It was well-known that he was a solicitor which would have had a detrimental impact on the reputation of the profession and how the public perceived it. His conduct was a complete departure from the standards expected of a solicitor.”
Rahman had “demonstrated not a shred of remorse into his actions”—the only sanction that could “protect the public and the reputation of the profession” was to be removed. Costs of £86,400 were awarded against Rahman—added to the mountain of fees still owed to the 2015 Election Court hearing, including legal costs of the four petitioners who began the action against Rahman.
The former family lawyer who qualified in 1997 practiced at Mile End before entering the hotbed of Tower Hamlets politics.