Vikram Dodd and Sam Jones
Scotland Yard said yesterday that one of London mayor Ken Livingstone's closest aides, who has been accused of corruption, had no criminal case to answer.
Livingstone suspended Lee Jasper, his adviser on the police and equalities, last week while police investigated allegations of wrongdoing in the way grants were given to six organisations run by Jasper's friends or associates. Scotland Yard said yesterday it had found nothing criminal in the way the money was awarded.
Jasper was not treated as a criminal suspect and the mayor's opponents called Livingstone's referral last week to the police a smokescreen. They called for an investigation into whether Jasper influenced officials who decided which groups were awarded taxpayers' money.
After nearly three months of accusations led by the Evening Standard, which the mayor's supporters claim opposes him and his policies, the Metropolitan police said the allegations were not a matter for their detectives because they could find no evidence of a crime being committed.
A police spokesman said that Met investigated six allegations of fraud related to “the conduct of one individual”.
“To date there have been no criminal allegations reported to us in connection with this individual but, as with anyone, should concerns arise out of the fraud investigation, or subsequent criminal allegations be reported to us these will be considered and appropriate action taken.”