Apsana Begum: Labour MP says she will ‘vigorously’ fight case after being charged with fraud over council flat claim

Conrad Duncan
·2-min read
 (Apsana Begum became the Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse in east London in the 2019 general election (PA))
(Apsana Begum became the Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse in east London in the 2019 general election (PA))

A Labour MP who has been charged with fraud has said she will “vigorously” contest the allegations made against her.

Apsana Begum, the MP for Poplar and Limehouse in east London, has been charged with “dishonestly failing to disclose information in order to make gains for herself or another, or expose another to a loss” on three separate occasions, according to a court official.

Ms Begum, who won her seat in last year's general election, said in a statement that she "vigorously contests these malicious and false allegations".

The three charges against her are dated between 18 January 2013 and 31 March 2016.

A court official said it was alleged that Ms Begum failed to tell Tower Hamlets Council that she was “no longer living in overcrowded conditions”.

“The council takes housing fraud very seriously,” a Tower Hamlets Council spokesperson said.

“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on any specific allegations, but the public can be confident that any concerns are investigated by an experienced team, in line with our procedures.”

The charges against Ms Begum followed newspaper reports last year which claimed she was being investigated over whether she had wrongly secured a council flat.

It was reported that she had left her husband’s residence and moved into a flat in her local area soon afterwards.

Investigators were reportedly trying to establish how she had moved to the top of an 18,000-person waiting list so quickly.

Ms Begum, who sits on the Commons Education Committee, entered parliament with a 28,904 vote majority in the 2019 general election, beating five other candidates to win her seat.

She has notably spoken in parliament about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on low-income families and ethnic minorities in the UK.

The MP is due to appear at Thames Magistrates' Court on 10 December.

Additional reporting by PA

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