Disgraced Independent councillor Shahed Ali sentenced to five months in prison

Independent councillor Shahed Ali was today sentenced to five months in prison by Snaresbrook Crown Court after pleading guilty to Housing Fraud.

The conviction means that Shahed Ali is no longer eligible to remain a councillor and that there will be a by-election in Whitechapel, most likely to be held on the 1st December.

For months Cllr Ali denied the charges against him, only to plead guilty at the last moment. Documents tabled in the court show that Cllr Ali has cost the council over £70,000 in legal fees. Had he pleaded guilty when he was first accused at Thames Magistrates’ Court on 9 December 2015 the cost to the Council would only have been £3,428.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said:

“It’s disgraceful that instead of serving his constituents Shahed Ali chose not only to commit housing fraud but then to lie about it, costing taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds in legal fees.

“It’s entirely right that he is kicked off the council and that there is a by-election to give voters the chance to give their verdict on his criminality. It’s a shame he did not have the integrity to come clean and resign before he’d cost taxpayers tens of thousands more in legal costs.

“What astounds me is that despite one of their colleagues being convicted of fraud, none of the Independent councillors have spoken out or apologised.”

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