The police has concluded its investigation into allegations of electoral fraud in Lambeth’s Gipsy Hill ward in May’s local elections, and says it will be taking no further action.
The voters of Gipsy Hill elected three Labour councillors, including Matthew Bennett, who as well as having cabinet responsibilities at Brixton Town Hall, also holds the day-job as “Head of Office” for Croydon North’s MP, Steve Reed OBE.
Before opting for Croydon’s safe Labour seat, Reed had been Leader of the Council in Lambeth.
Bennett declined to comment to Inside Croydon regarding his involvement, or non-involvement, in the investigation, which will be seen as a considerable embarrassment for Reed’s former colleagues in Lambeth, where a by-election has already had to be arranged for next month in Knight’s Hill ward because one of the Labour councillors who was elected in May happened to be on the council pay-roll at the time of the elections.
In Gipsy Hill ward, which borders Crystal Palace, Bennett was elected alongside Niranjan Francis and Jennifer Brathwaite. The police never identified which of the Gipsy Hill councillors was the subject of their investigation.
According to sources, allegations were made by someone from Croydon, raising questions about one of the candidates’ eligibility to stand for election in Lambeth.
The police, it appears, are satisfied that there is no case to answer.
In a statement, they said: “We can confirm we have received an allegation that a candidate in the recent local elections in Lambeth was ineligible to stand for election. Detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime and Operations Command investigated the allegation; this has concluded and no further action will be taken.”
Coming to Croydon
- CODA’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at Wandle Park, Jul 30-Aug 2
- David Lean Cinema: Locke, July 31
- Mind-Loosening Workshop, Aug 2
- Upper Norwood Library Book Club, Aug 2
- Patchwork and quilting workshop, Upper Norwood Library, Aug 4
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 6
- David Lean Cinema: Grand Budapest Hotel, Aug 7
- Elm Tree Cottage garden open day, Aug 10
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 13
- David Lean Cinema: The Wind Rises, Aug 14
- Mind-Loosing Workshop, Aug 16
- David Lean Cinema: The Love Punch, Aug 16
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Aug 16
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 20
- David Lean Cinema: Stop The Pounding Heart, Aug 21
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 27
- David Lean Cinema: Frank, Aug 28
- Upper Norwood Library well-being groups, Aug 30
- Warlingham rugby dinner with international Richard Hill, Sep 12
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Sep 20
- Streatham Common 6M race, Sep 27
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Oct 18
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
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