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Tower Hamlets council welcome decision to halt probe

Tower Hamlets council has welcomed Scotland Yard's decision to halt the investigation into allegations against their elected mayor.

Bangladesh-born Lutfur Rahman had strenuously denied the allegations. Credit: PA Wire

Police said Lutfur Rahman will face no further action "at this stage" over claims of fraud and financial mismanagement by the BBC Panorama documentary.

The Bangladesh-born mayor had strenuously denied the allegations.

A council spokesperson said: “The news from the Metropolitan Police is to be welcomed and Tower Hamlets will continue to work with the Auditors and DCLG."

Read: Police halt investigation into Tower Hamlets mayor

Police halt investigation into Tower Hamlets mayor

Scotland Yard has halted its investigation into allegations of fraud and financial mismanagement against an elected mayor after finding no evidence of criminality.

Bangladesh-born Lutfur Rahman, mayor of Tower Hamlets in east London, will face no further action from the Metropolitan Police "at this stage".

A statement said:

The files have been reviewed by a team of officers over the past six days. In addition, officers have liaised with Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP (PwC) who are conducting a full and wide-ranging audit of financial matters at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

There is no credible evidence of criminality within the files to provide reasonable grounds to suspect that fraud or any other offence has been committed at this stage.

Therefore the MPS will not be investigating at this point in time and believe that it is appropriate for the material to be reviewed further by PwC and DCLG. We will continue to liaise with them, should their audit uncover any evidence of criminality.

– Scotland Yard

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Tower Hamlets: 'No evidence' of wrongdoing

Tower Hamlets council has said it is looking forward to demonstrating that council processes have been run appropriately after inspectors were appointed to investigate claims of financial mismanagement.

A Tower Hamlets spokesman said:

Government auditors are today meeting with senior officers of the council.

We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate that council processes have been run appropriately and to date we have seen no evidence to suggest otherwise.

This inspection affords the borough the best opportunity to demonstrate that the borough has acted in the best interests of all residents.

Read: Pickles says Tower Hamlets probe is in public interest

Pickles says Tower Hamlets probe is in public interest

Eric Pickles has said he is taking steps to investigate alleged mismanagement of public funds in Tower Hamlets as a matter of public interest.

The Bangladeshi mayor of the borough Lutfur Rahman was accused by the BBC's Panorama programme of substantially increasing public funding to Bengali charities in return for electoral support.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles. Credit: PA Wire

Mr Rahman categorically denies the allegations and has accused the BBC of racism.

"It is a matter of public record that I have long been concerned about a worrying pattern of divisive community politics and alleged mismanagement of public money by the mayoral administration in Tower Hamlets," the Communities Secretary said.

"Following the receipt of a number of documents, I am now taking legal steps, in the public interest, to appoint inspectors to look into the allegations in respect of Tower Hamlets.

Read: Tower Hamlets to be investigated after allegations

Tower Hamlets to be investigated over allegations

Inspectors will examine allegations of fraud and financial mismanagement made against the elected mayor of Tower Hamlets, the Communities Secretary has said.

Panorama made allegations against the elected mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman. Credit: PA Wire

Lutfur Rahman was accused of doubling the funding recommended for Bengali-run charities by the BBC's Panorama programme - an allegation he strongly denies.

Eric Pickles said serious concerns had been raised and PricewaterhouseCoopers is in the east London borough to carry out an inspection of the council.

A file on the claims is being passed to the Metropolitan Police today, and a Scotland Yard spokesperson said the force would be making no further comment at this time.

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Mayor denies wrong-doing

Lutfur Rahman, centre, with some Olympic tickets winners in 2012 Credit: David Parry/PA Archive

The Bangladeshi mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, is accused of more than doubling the recommended level of funding for Bengali-run charities.

Opposition councillors say they believe the grants were handed out in return for electoral support.

Lutfur Rahman became Britain's first directly elected Asian mayor in 2010, winning as an independent with only 13% of registered voters.

Almost two thirds who turned out to vote were from the Bangladeshi community.

Now Labour and Conservative opposition councillors are alleging that his selection of Bangladeshi charities for grant funding in the run up to the election was motivated by electoral advantage.

The mayor denies the allegations.

The Panorama investigation, The Mayor and Our Money, will air tonight at 8.30 on BBC1.

Hackney and Tower Hamlets residents most at risk

London basks in the sun in July last year Credit: Jeff Moore/Empics Entertainment

Scientists from Imperial College London say that in the most vulnerable districts, in London and the southeast, the odds of dying from heart or lung causes increased by more than 10 per cent for every 1C rise in temperature.

Those most at risk areas include more deprived districts of London such as Hackney and Tower Hamlets, with the odds of dying more than doubling on very hot days.

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