London

New Tower Hamlets electoral fraud probe launched

Lutfur Rahman Image copyright AFP
Image caption Lutfur Rahman was found guilty of corrupt and illegal practices by an Election Court in April 2015

A new investigation into allegations of electoral fraud and malpractice in the Tower Hamlets mayoral election in 2014 has been launched by police.

Former mayor Lutfur Rahman stepped down after an Election Court found him guilty of corrupt and illegal practices but has faced no criminal prosecution.

Scotland Yard said it recognises "concerns have been raised" about the previous police inquiry.

The Met has been accused of "major failings" over their investigation.

It received 164 complaints of election malpractice during the May 2014 local election.

Independent review

These led to two people being cautioned and a person being charged with a candidate nomination offence, as well as six people given warnings about their conduct.

A spokesperson said the force had launched "a new operation to examine, and where required, investigate the criminal allegations" following an internal analysis of their inquiries.

Scotland Yard has also asked the City of London Police to carry out an independent review into its investigation into allegations surrounding grant funding in relation to the Tower Hamlets Communities, Localities and Culture Youth Project.

Steve O'Connell, chairman of the London Assembly's Police and Crime Committee, previously said there was "widespread concern" the Met had not brought charges against Mr Rahman.

The police watchdog, HM Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC), has also been asked to carry out an inspection into the force.

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