`A Tower Hamlets councillor and a close ally of corrupt former Mayor Lutfur Rahman has been jailed for fraud.
Tower Hamlets councillor Shahed Ali was sentenced to five months in prison after admitting the offence. Ali, who has been disqualified from office, was a supporter of the Muslim extremist Mr Rahman and served in his Cabinet before the former Mayor was kicked out of office in disgrace after being found guilty of electoral fraud last year.
The jailed Muslim was first elected under the banner of traitor George Galloway’s Respect Party. Then re-elected as representing Lutfur Rahman’s now banned Tower Hamlets First. Both parties have ties to extremist East London based group Islamic Forum Europe. THF and Lutfur were said by many to be little more than IFE fronts to control the area and further Islamization. IFE and its front groups received millions in council grants during Rahmans time as mayor. IFE are the UK branch of extremist group Jamaat-e-Islami whose overall goal is a Muslim world living under sharia.
The 45-year-old Muslim is thought to have cost the council over £70,000 in legal fees.He spent months denying the charges .Refusing to stand down from his position and continuing to claim full expenses. But pleaded guilty on the first day of his trial last month.If he had pleaded guilty when first accused on December 9 last year the cost would reportedly have been less than £4,000, the council said.
The former councillor has been given a 22-week sentence under the 2006 Fraud Act for not disclosing information about his changed circumstances when applying for a council house. Ali failed to notify the council of the change between the date he completed a housing application form and the date he accepted a council tenancy, while under a duty to do so. He failed to tell the authority that he owned two properties.
Councillor Ali was also registered to vote at two addresses with votes cast in his name for both. His case was cited by the judge in Mr Rahman’s election fraud trial as an example of the dishonesty that surrounded the disgraced former mayor.Although the judge pointed out that evidence of both ballots plainly showed something was wrong, the police decided there was insufficient evidence to charge him with electoral fraud, enraging anti-corruption advocates who claimed this was another example of the Met Police turning a blind eye to obvious wrong-doing.
Cllr Peter Golds, Isle of Dogs councillor and Conservative group leader said:
“Shahed Ali is the second Rahman supporting Tower Hamlets councillor jailed for housing fraud. The property that he illegally secured while owning a former council flat where he allegedly lived, a former council flat which he rented out, a restaurant with flats at Frinton on Sea could and should have been made available to one of the 20,000 families on the council waiting list.
“This man could have resigned from the council when his fraud became known, instead he continued to trouser over £10,000 in council allowances, while doing nothing for the people that he was elected to serve.
“He is gone now but the stench of the Tower Hamlets First corruption still hangs over the town hall.”