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Election Offences: Tower Hamlets

Question for Attorney General

UIN 57698, tabled on 14 December 2016

To ask the Attorney General, whether the Law Officers are able to review or challenge a decision of the Metropolitan Police and Crown Prosecution Service not to follow-up the court judgment of April 2015 on election offences in Tower Hamlets with criminal prosecutions; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

22 December 2016

The police are operationally independent and ministerial responsibility lies with the Home Office. I do not have oversight of their work.

I am accountable to Parliament for the work of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). It too operates independently of government.

If the police approach the CPS for a decision as to whether an individual should be charged with any offence they will consider firstly whether there is a realistic prospect of conviction and, if so, whether a prosecution is needed in the public interest. In this case the police did not ask the CPS for a charging decision although the CPS has given investigatory advice.

There is a protocol which governs the relationship between the Attorney General and the CPS Paragraph 4c makes clear that the Law Officers will not be consulted about prosecution decisions in cases relating to political parties or the conduct of elections.

Answered by

Attorney General