An East London council spent almost £90,000 on bringing a legal case against a Labour MP, new data has revealed.
Tower Hamlets Council spent £88,607 on the investigation and trial of Poplar and Limehouse MP Apsana Begum – who they accused of costing the taxpayer £63,928 in housing fraud.
The authority launched an investigation into Ms Begum after complaints were made against her.
Its investigation found that there was enough evidence to take the case to trial.
Ms Begum was accused of deliberately misleading the council about her housing situation between January 2013 and March 2016.
The prosecution argued that the council flat she received cost the council £63,928.
But Ms Begum was cleared of three charges of housing fraud at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
It has now been revealed that the investigation and trial cost more than she was accused of cheating from the council.
Tower Hamlets Council revealed in a response to a Freedom of Information request that the total cost of the investigation and lawyer’s fees was £88,607.
The council said that the cost of its internal investigation was £14,899.
It added that the costs of legal assistants working on the case was £10,732, while senior or principal lawyers – paid £150 an hour – cost £44,715.
The amount spent on counsel’s fees was £18,261.
In total, the costs were £24,679 more than the amount Ms Begum was accused of cheating from the taxpayer.
Tower Hamlets Council has been contacted for comment. Apsana Begum has been contacted for comment.