Poplar MP Apsana Begum third day on trial for housing fraud

Poplar and Limehouse MP Apsana Begum, who is on trial for alleged housing fraud, reported her ex-husband to police for harassing her, she claimed on the third day of her trial today.

The 31-year-old denies three charges of defrauding Tower Hamlets Council over her living circumstances to jump the queue for social housing.

She had called police in 2016 after splitting with her husband, Tower Hamlets councillor Ehtashamul Haque, for cheating on her, prosecutor James Marsland said in a summary of “agreed facts” with the defence.

Her marriage to Mr Haque also caused problems with her family because he was previously divorced, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

She first went to Limehouse police station in May 2013 to report feeling “under pressure” from her brother’s “controlling behaviour”, but said she was not at risk of domestic violence, jurors heard. Police gave her a panic alarm as a precaution.

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Ms Begum called police again in November 2016 to report that her ex-husband had been following her from work in his car after “constantly calling and texting saying he loved her and missed her”, Mr Marsland said.

Ms Begum first made an application for council housing in 2011 and was given a high priority status on the waiting list due to living in “overcrowded” accommodation with her family.

She failed to disclose that she had moved out to live with Mr Haque “with the intention of making gain for herself” on three separate occasions, the prosecution alleges.

The MP has been under investigation since November 2019, when a complaint was made to Tower Hamlets Council about her housing applications. The fraud charges relate to three periods between 2013 and 2016.

The trial continues.

READ MORE: Apsana Begum’s ex-husband may be behind housing bids, trial hears


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