Liberal Democrat Mayor suspended over benefits investigation

From the Camden New Journal:

THE Mayor of Camden, Councillor Omar Faruque Ansari, has been suspended from the Liberal Democrat group tonight (Monday) after he was questioned by benefit investigators.

Council leader Keith Moffitt said he would remain suspended until “a serious investigation” was complete. It is understood Cllr Ansari was questioned by investigators from the Department of Work and Pensions today, although released without any charges being brought. The investigation, however, is ongoing. It does not relate to council funds…

Cllr Moffitt said in a statement tonight: “Councillor Omar Faruque Ansari has today been suspended as a member of  the Liberal Democrat Group on Camden Council pending the outcome of a serious investigation.  The decision was taken at a meeting of the Liberal Democrat Group held today and takes effect immediately. Cllr Ansari has been suspended in the light of allegations being investigated by the Department of Work and Pensions. The allegations are unrelated to his position on the council. I have no further comment to make at this stage.”…

Conservative leader Councillor Andrew Marshall, whose party shares power with the Lib Dems at the Town Hall, said: “These are serious allegations and it would not be right to comment further given the ongoing investigation. In this country everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Benefit fraud is pernicious crime and all of us in public office have a duty to maintain the highest standards of probity.”

You can read the full story here.

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13 Comments

  • Jamie Kelly 26th Jan '10 - 8:55am

    This is really shocking – Camden’s first citizen is a suspected crook. You don’t arrest someone for benefit fraud unless you have pretty damning evidence of wrong doing. He should resign as soon as possible and let us have another Mayor.

  • Malcolm Todd 26th Jan '10 - 9:15am

    “You don’t arrest someone for benefit fraud unless you have pretty damning evidence of wrong doing.”

    Why yes, it’s about time they got rid of the pesky business of trials and defence lawyers and just let the Police and media decide these cases. 🙄

  • Andrew Suffield 26th Jan '10 - 2:54pm

    “Suspended pending the outcome of the investigation” is a paranoid-but-reasonable approach to take with politicians. We do need more to be done about false accusations, though.

  • Rizwan Hussain 27th Jan '10 - 10:11am

    What else can you expect from person who was also involved in civil unrest in East Pakistan. He should be put on trial for that as well

  • “Civil unrest”? “East Pakistan”? I think we may have found the last surviving supporter of Yahya Khan. Tell me, how have the last 39 years been for you? – disappointing no doubt. You know Ceylon’s changed it’s name too now, and Rhodesia.

  • Malcolm Todd 28th Jan '10 - 2:48pm

    Wonders of coalition politics, Alix.

  • What eminent good sense Camden Group Lib Dems have shown – anyone accused of serious crime / abuse of power etc should be suspended. Various party groups, local parties etc have got themselves in grave difficulty by not employing the well-used process of precautionary suspension. That way it does NOT prejudge cases (although many try to say it does), but it takes the possible offender away from making public comment, possible justifications etc etc.

  • Rizwan Hussain 3rd Feb '10 - 10:43am

    @ Klaus
    I was just being polite but since you insist I meant terrorist activities. Ansari is just showing the character you have to have to do what he has done.

One Trackback

  • By The LDV Friday Five: 29 January 2010 on Fri 29th January 2010 at 5:02 pm.

    […] college 4. What the pollsters think will happen at the general election (7) by Stephen Tall 5. Liberal Democrat Mayor suspended over benefits investigation (12) by Mark […]

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