Labour MP charged with housing fraud

Posted: 15/11/2020

800px-Official_portrait_of_Apsana_Begum_MP_crop_2.jpg

A Labour MP has been charged with housing fraud after being investigated over how she obtained her flat.

Apsana Begum, who was elected to her seat in Poplar and Limehouse in east London last year, has been accused of three offences in relation to the £300,000 one-bed Isle of Dogs flat in east London.

The 30-year old, who is considered an ally of the former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and whose candidacy was backed by Momentum, is said to “vigorously contest” the allegations.

The Poplar and Limehouse MP is due to appear at Thames Magistrates’ Court on 10 December and potentially faces losing her Commons seat and serving time in jail.

Begum faces three separate charges of dishonestly failing to disclose information in order to make gains for herself or another, or expose another to a loss with the offences dated between January 2013 and March 2016.

The charges are the result of an investigation by Tower Hamlets council, which as a local authority has the power to bring prosecutions.

A statement issued by lawyers for the MP said: “Ms Begum vigorously contests these malicious and false allegations. She cannot comment in any further detail.”

The property is understood to be run by a housing association, but the tenants are nominated by the council.

Investigators reportedly wanted to know how she got to the top of an 18,000-strong waiting list so quickly given she did not have children.

A spokesperson for Tower Hamlets council said: “It would be inappropriate for us to comment on any specific investigation. We would urge others to refrain from any unnecessary speculation on any investigation that the council undertakes to avoid prejudicing any court proceedings.”

Image: By David Woolfall - https://members-api.parliament.uk/api/Members/4790/Portrait?cropType=ThreeFourGallery: https://members.parliament.uk/member/4790/portrait, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=86623193

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