Former Labour councillor pleads guilty to five charges of possessing indecent images of children

Former Labour councillor pleads guilty to five charges of possessing indecent images of children

Tom Dewey (inset) and Hackney Town Hall

Hackney Council
Sam Montgomery

By Sam Montgomery

Published: 19/07/2023

- 21:03

Updated: 20/07/2023

- 07:28

Questions raised after Labour Party candidate stood and won in council election despite being arrested six days earlier

A former Hackney Labour councillor has admitted to five charges of possessing indecent images of children.

Tom Dewey, 36, appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, where he entered guilty pleas to five separate charges.

The former Labour councillor admitted a charge of making five Category A indecent images of children on 29 April 2022 in Hackney, a further charge of making four Category B indecent images on the same date, as well as making 203 Category C indecent images of children on the same date.

Dewey also admitted to possessing 78 extreme pornographic images of children on 29 April 2022, and having 1,523 prohibited images of children in his possession on or before 20 January 2022.

Tom Dewey

Hackney Council

With local election campaigning well underway, Dewey was arrested by National Crime Agency officers at his home in Hackney on 29 April 2022, while his computers and other devices were seized.

Dewey then stood as a Labour Party election candidate in the De Beauvoir ward in Hackney in the council elections, just six days after the police raid.

A one time borough organiser for Croydon, Dewey went on to win the seat for Labour at the election.

The Labour Party were notified by the council’s Chief Executive of his arrest eleven days later, on 16 May, at which point it suspended Dewey.

Dewey resigned as a councillor the same day, triggering a by-election last July.

Mayor Philip Glanville

Hackney Council

At the time of the police raid, Dewey lived at the same address as Philip Glanville, the Labour Mayor of Hackney.

According to the Hackney Citizen, Glanville said: “I was not made aware of the police investigation until after the May 2022 elections when I was told by the council.”

He added: “I have not seen or spoken to Mr Dewey since I became aware of the investigation.”

Political rivals and Hackney Labour members alike are demanding to know why Dewey was allowed to stand as party candidate, given the severity of the offences involved.

The arrest would have occurred too late for Labour to field an alternative candidate, meaning that withdrawing Dewey would have meant losing the seat on the Hackney council.


National Crime Agency officers performing a raid on a house


As it happens, allowing Dewey to remain a candidate meant Labour was able to put forward another candidate in the ensuing by-election, which they won.

A Hackney Greens spokesperson told MyLondon: "A matter as serious as Mr Dewey's arrest by the NCA should have been passed on to his party immediately.

“We are concerned that it took the council three days to do this and they have not explained the delay.

“This only reinforces our call for an independent inquiry to establish who knew what about Mr Dewey's arrest and when, and why the public were not informed."

Likewise, Inside Croydon quotes one Labour member referring to the situation as a “cynical and sickening cover-up.”

At Dewey’s Tuesday court appearance, he was released on bail and committed to Isleworth Crown Court for sentencing on August 15.

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