The leader of Tower Hamlets Conservatives has called on the Met to explain its failed investigation into the election fraud scandal.
Cllr Peter Golds has asked assistant commissioner for professionalism Helen King to meet with petitioners and their supporters to explain why many people with evidence weren’t interviewed as part of the investigation.
It comes after corruption czar Sir Eric Pickles criticised police for the lack of criminal prosecution after the corruption of disgraced former Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman was exposed in the High Court in 2015.
Cllr Golds said: “Since publication of the report by Sir Eric Pickles there has been enormous criticism of the Met over the failure to properly investigate election fraud. This criticism will not abate if the current inertia continues.”
“Sadly, it is not only election fraud that the police seem unwilling to investigate and prosecute for wrongdoing within Tower Hamlets.
“There are people with substantial amounts of evidence with which the Met would be able to secure convictions on misconduct in public office.”
Scotland Yard closed the file on Tower Hamlets despite evidence and testimony at the High Court case that suggested criminality had taken place.
The police insisted the evidence presented did not reach the right level of proof, even though the judge ruled that the court case was acting as criminal court.
The electoral fraud case was brought before the High Court after a successful petition by Andy Erlam, Angela Moffat and Azmal Hussein.
Cllr Golds said: “Londoners simply deserve more than exercises in ticking boxes where the integrity of the voting system is under threat.
“We have had warnings from organisations such as the OECD on this very matter.
“It is too late and there is too much evidence for it to be ignored. Those who seek to undermine our democracy should be bought to justice.
“Until they are, the Met will not be able to claim that it values the democratic freedoms of this country. “Therefore the Met owes the petitioners and certain key stakeholders a proper meeting.
“This will be an opportunity to say how and why they were not interviewed and invited to provide evidence that was not hearsay and would have added to the thin file sent to the CPS.
“We have repeatedly and seriously been let down by the Met. I would hope the Met would wish to redress the problem and restore integrity into the electoral process.”
Responding to Sir Eric’s claims, The Met said: “The force is disappointed Sir Eric Pickles has expressed such views in relation to no prosecutions being brought for alleged election offences in Tower Hamlets.”
There are “important differences” in the legal framework that governs the admissibility of evidence to an election petition hearing and a criminal prosecution, it added.
The statement continued: “Due to the specialist and complex nature of the legislation, the Met worked closely with and sought advice at a number of investigative stages from the specialist team within the CPS.
“The suggestion that the Met has somehow failed to take action is completely unfounded. We must work within the legislative framework set by Government.”
The Met has been asked for a response to Cllr Golds’ statement.
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