Mayor of Camden steps down amid benefits investigation

KENTISH Town councillor Omar Faruque Ansari has stepped down as the Mayor of Camden after being suspended by the Lib Dems over a benefits investigation. The former Mayor was suspended by the Liberal Democrat group yesterday because he is under investigati

KENTISH Town councillor Omar Faruque Ansari has stepped down as the Mayor of Camden after being suspended by the Lib Dems over a benefits investigation.

The former Mayor was suspended by the Liberal Democrat group yesterday because he is under investigation by the Department for Work and Pensions about disability benefits.

The councillor is understood to have been questioned by benefit investigators from the DWP and released without charge although an investigation is ongoing.

Cllr Ansari, who is registered disabled, told the Ham&High: "I have to prove my innocence now which I am. I am no longer the Mayor of Camden. When you have an allegation it is difficult to be Mayor and chair public meetings and represent the borough.

"So I have stepped down from being a Mayor but I am still a councillor. So far I have not been charged. Unfortunately anyone can make an allegation against anyone and I am challenging this one."

Cllr Ansari was voted in as Mayor last May and he has been a councillor in Camden since 2006. The investigation is unrelated to council funds.