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Former councillor at London borough jailed for electoral offences

A former councillor at the London Borough of Redbridge has been jailed for electoral offences and banned from holding elected office for five years.

Chaudhary Mohammed Iqbal, 51 of Cecil Avenue, Barking was sentenced on 4 January for three counts of making false statements in candidate nomination papers, contrary to Sec 65A(1A) of the Representation of the People Act 1983, and one count of perverting the course of justice.

The Metropolitan Police said the charges related to false declarations by Iqbal regarding his address, in relation to the 2018 local government elections in the London Borough of Redbridge.

He had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of causing or permitting a false statement to appear on a nomination form and one count of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

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Iqbal appeared at Southwark Crown Court and was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment for each of the three electoral malpractice offences, to run concurrently.

He was also sentenced to eight months' imprisonment for perverting the course of justice, to run consecutively.

Iqbal was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £10,422.54, compensation to Redbridge Council of £10,000 for the by-election costs and compensation to Redbridge Council of £18,368 for the allowances paid to him.

He was reminded of section 173 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 setting out the requirements of a person convicted of a corrupt practice in relation to his current elected post and also the five year ban on holding elected office.

Detective Chief Inspector Sarah McConnell, of the Metropolitan Police's Central Specialist Crime Command, said: "This is a significant sentence for this type of offence. It reflects the seriousness with which the court viewed the wrongdoing in an electoral setting."

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