Page last updated at 13:33 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Camden Council mayor arrested in benefit fraud inquiry

Camden Mayor Omar Faruque Ansari was arrested on suspicion of benefit fraud
Mr Ansari became Camden's mayor in May 2009

A London mayor has been suspended from his post after being arrested on suspicion of benefit fraud.

Camden Mayor Omar Faruque Ansari, 55, was led from the north London borough's town hall by police on Monday.

He was questioned at Holborn police station over claims that he was falsely claiming disability benefits.

A council spokesman said the allegations did not relate to Mr Ansari's work at the council. Mr Ansari was released on bail until March.

He joined Camden Council's Liberal Democrats in 2006 and became mayor in May last year.

'Serious investigation'

Council leader Keith Moffitt said Mr Ansari would be suspended from the Liberal Democrat group while a "serious investigation" was carried out.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: "Officers assisting the Department for Work and Pensions arrested a 55-year-old man yesterday.

"He was taken into custody at a central London police station and bailed to return to a date in March."

The Camden Council spokesman said he would not comment on "allegations relating to the personal lives of its members".

But he added: "No information would suggest that these allegations are connected to Councillor Ansari's work with the council.

"We must also note at this stage that these are merely allegations."

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