Police drop case against Tower Hamlets anti-corruption campaigner Andy Erlam
PUBLISHED: 09:33 02 November 2016 | UPDATED: 15:17 02 November 2016
A threat of police action has been dropped against anti-corruption campaigner Andy Erlam who exposed Town Hall malpractice in London’s East End.
He had been accused of “perverting justice” in his campaign which toppled corrupt Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman who was barred by the High Court from office for five years.
Erlam’s campaign almost backfired with “malicious” counter allegations levelled against him by Rahman supporters.
Now he has received a letter from Scotland Yard’s Organised Crime Command saying “reasonable grounds to suggest a criminal offence had taken place no longer exists” and he is no longer required for interview—but doesn’t apologise for the cloud hanging over him for the past 20 months.
“The allegation against me was ludicrous,” Erlam tells tomorrow’s the East London Advertiser. “Police threw resources at investigating a complaint against me that they must have known was bogus—while death threats and election court witness intimidation went un-investigated.”
He slams the Met for “harassment and turning a blind-eye to industrial-scale voter fraud” while he was targeted by Rahman supporters.
Police used a master key to get into the courtyard at his home in Bow just before he gave evidence to the High Court, he maintains.
“It beggars belief that the police did this while failing to send a file to the Crown Prosecution Service over the voter fraud,” he adds.
“No one was ever interviewed about the industrial-scale voter fraud—everything has been swept under the carpet.”
The climb-down comes in a letter from Det Chief Ins Gary Miles, seen by the Advertiser, which states: “A decision has been made to conclude the investigation into an offence of perverting the course of justice in relation to a statement that you took... Reasonable grounds to suggest a criminal offence had taken place now no longer exist. There is now insufficient evidence to proceed and accordingly there is no requirement to interview you.”
Allegations by Erlam against the Met have been put to Det Chief Ins Miles by the paper. Scotland Yard has acknowledged our inquiry, but has not responded to Erlam’s claims.
Erlam and three other election petitioners are still owed £500,000 in legal costs against Rahman, who made himself bankrupt earlier this year and has since had his £3.5 million property assets frozen by the court.
Rahman’s disqualification in 2015 led to a re-run of his 2014 corrupt election, resulting in John Biggs voted as new mayor and Labour regaining control of Tower Hamlets Council.