In my written statement of 7 April 2014, official report, column 2WS, I stated that my department had received documents which made serious allegations about poor governance and financial management at the council of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
I also noted that ministers had long been concerned about a worrying pattern of divisive community politics and alleged mismanagement of public money by the mayoral administration in Tower Hamlets.
On 4 April 2014, I appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) to carry out an inspection of the local authority’s compliance with its best value duty and to report their findings to me by 30 June 2014.
On 30 June, I told the House that PwC had informed me that the council had considerably delayed the investigation by delaying the provision of key information or simply not providing it at all, and that consequently I was extending the period for PwC to report.
PwC have now completed their inspection; I am today putting a copy of their report in the Library of the House and publishing the report on my department’s website. As statute requires, PwC is now also sending a copy of the report to the council.
I have been carefully considering the report, and later today I will make an oral statement updating the House on the action I propose to take, having regard to the report and other relevant information available to me about the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
I hope this will provide an opportunity for Honourable Members to read through the detailed and comprehensive report before my oral statement.