how she had leapt to the top of an 18,000-strong housing list
Labour MP Apsana Begum has been charged with three counts of housing fraud after suspicions were raised over how she obtained her flat.
Ms Begum was elected to her seat in Poplar and Limehouse in east London in the 2019 General Election with a 28,904 majority.
The MP is considered an ally of the former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Ms Begum is believed to “vigorously contest” the allegations.
She described them as “malicious and false”.
Ms Begum faces three separate charges of dishonestly failing to disclose information in order to make gains for herself or another, or expose another to a loss with the offences dated between January 2013 and March 2016.
She is set to appear at Thames Magistrates’ Court on December 10, 2020. If convicted, Ms Begum could face jail and lose her Commons seat.
The charges are the result of an investigation by Tower Hamlets council, which as a local authority has the power to bring prosecutions.
The Sun reported that in November 2019, the Labour MP was facing a probe over the flat she moved into months after leaving her estranged husband’s home.
The property is understood to be run by a housing association, but the tenants are nominated by the council.
Investigators wanted to know how she had leapt to the top of an 18,000-strong housing list so quickly despite having no children.
At the time, the 30-year-old denied any wrongdoing. She claimed her housing situation was “in a state of flux” after her marriage breakdown.
Ms Begum also insisted that there was no probe.
She said at the time: “I was so grateful to be housed, which provided me with the lifeline I needed to live independently and safely.”
Ms Begum is thought to have applied for a Tower Hamlets council flat while living with her family in 2011.
She moved in with her husband in 2014 but they split in 2015.
Within six months, she was offered the one-bed Isle of Dogs flat in a block on the Thames.
Lawyers for the Labour MP said:
“Ms Begum vigorously contests these malicious and false allegations.
“She cannot comment in any further detail.
“In view of continued concerns about Ms Begum’s safety, we would ask that no address associated with her is published.”
A Tower Hamlets council spokesperson said: “It would be inappropriate for us to comment on any specific investigation.
“We would urge others to refrain from any unnecessary speculation on any investigation that the council undertakes to avoid prejudicing any court proceedings.”