Police withdraw inaccurate statement and confirm investigation
Labour councillors in Tower Hamlets have responded to a statement from the Met police which revealed an ongoing investigation into the grants awarded to the Brady Youth Forum, an organisation given thousands of pounds by Mayor Lutfur Rahman.
The revelation came after the police withdrew an inaccurate earlier statement. Writing in a clarification press release the Met confirmed that the files passed to them included details on an already ongoing investigation.
The Met stated: "A report was made to Tower Hamlets Police on 20 March by Tower Hamlets Council. The report concerned an irregularity with regards to money being awarded to the Brady Youth Forum, in January and April 2013, that was identified by an internal review. This investigation is being carried out by Tower Hamlets CID."
Responding to the announcement, Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Sirajul Islam, said:
“It is hard to comment on the specifics as we do not know what was passed to the police, but it is clear that police investigations are continuing into some of the grants awarded by Lutfur Rahman.
“It is disappointing that the Met were not clear about the details of their investigations from the start but it is now clear that there are serious concerns about at least one the organisations funded by Lutfur Rahman.
"This is only one of a number of ongoing investigations into Lutfur Rahman’s conduct and grants and we must now allow the authorities and auditors to establish all the facts. Until the auditors’ investigation is completed it would be premature and wrong to dismiss those concerns as Lutfur Rahman has tried to."
Labour’s candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said:
“While Lutfur Rahman Mayor is marred in controversy, Labour are focused on delivering the eye-catching and progressive policies which residents want to see. Things like Free School Meals for all primary school pupils and action to tackle anti-social behaviour and crime.”
“Whatever the outcome of the audit it is clear that Lutfur Rahman’s refusal to be open and transparent about the way he does things has put our borough in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.”