UPDATE: Row deepens over probe into missing cash scandal at Bradford free school (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Row deepens over probe into missing cash scandal at Bradford free school
Government officials today denied assertions by two MPs that West Yorkshire Police had not been informed about substantial missing public funds uncovered by a detailed audit at a flagship free school in Bradford.
Bradford East MP David Ward (Lib Dem) told Parliament yesterday that as far as he was aware the force had not been informed of the discrepancies, which total about £77,000, at the Kings Science Academy in Lidget Green.
Both he and Bradford West MP George Galloway (Respect) have now demanded a full police probe into findings of the Department for Education audit which also discovered there had been false invoicing at the school.
Today, however, a DfE spokesman said: “These MPs are wrong. Fraud cases are now reported directly to Action Fraud – not local police forces.
“For completeness we also alerted West Yorkshire Police, which in turn directed us to Action Fraud. The case was then passed to police at the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau to investigate, who decided no further action was required.”
But in a further twist tonight, West Yorkshire Police denied it had not been informed about the matter by the DfE when it referred the findings to Action Fraud in April.
A force spokesman said Action Fraud had then recorded it as an information only case not as a crime.
"This was not sent to West Yorkshire Police either as information or for investigation," the spokesman said.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has now assessed the report and today sent it to West Yorkshire Police, the spokesman added.