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Apsana Begum MP Found Not Guilty of Housing Fraud

Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse, Apsana Begum, has been found not guilty by a jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court over claims of housing fraud, in a prosecution brought by Tower Hamlets Borough Council.

Ms Begum fled her family home in 2013 after an argument during which her brother claimed she was “possessed”, leading her to fear honour-based violence. Not only a survivor of domestic abuse, Ms Begum has also been the victim of sexist, racist and Islamophobic abuse online since the case against her began 18 months ago.

Commenting on her acquittal, Ms Begum said: “This case has been driven by malicious intent and has caused me great distress and damage to my reputation. I would like to say a sincere thank you to all my legal team and all those who have shown me solidarity, support and kindness. As a survivor of domestic abuse facing these vexatious charges, the last 18 months of false accusations, online sexist, racist, and Islamophobic abuse, and threats to my safety, have been exceedingly difficult. I also thank the jury for vindicating me, and the judge for presiding over this trial.

“I will be consulting and considering how to follow up so that something like this doesn’t happen again to anyone else.

“I would now like to get on with my job of representing my constituents – opposing the negligent covid decisions made by Johnson’s reckless Tory Government which has caused so many families to lose loved ones who should still be with us today and so much hardship that could have been avoided. My comrades and friends in Poplar and Limehouse, and beyond, have stood by me, I have and will always stand by them.”

Ms Begum was represented by Raj Chada, Partner and at Hodge Jones & Allen, who added: “I am delighted that Apsana has been found not guilty. Prosecutors and investigators need to better understand and consider how victims of coercive control and domestic abuse behave and how they are treated by the criminal justice system.

“Thankfully Apsana can continue serving her constituents and highlighting the issues that are important to them.”

Ms Begum will continue serving as MP for the East London seat, where she was first elected in December 2019.

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