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Assembly’s Biggs throws hat in to run for Mayor of Tower Hamlets

PUBLISHED: 13:00 27 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:05 05 October 2010

Biggs... hat in the ring for Tower Hamlets mayor

Biggs... hat in the ring for Tower Hamlets mayor

Carmen Valino

THE race to be first elected mayor of Tower Hamlets is on as former council leader John Biggs throws his hat into the ring, aloing with outgoing Tower Hamlets council leader Lutfur Rahman, the first two to announced their bid for the Labour ticket

By Keir Mudie

THE race to become the first elected mayor of Tower Hamlets is on as former council leader John Biggs throws his hat into the ring.

The London Assembly’s budget committee chairman joins outgoing Tower Hamlets council leader Lutfur Rahman as the only candidates who have formally announced their intention to run for the Labour ticket.

Other names are expected to be put forward including the new council leader Helal Abbas.

Mr Biggs believes his experience in Tower Hamlets in the 1990s, when he led the Labour party out of opposition and back into power, makes him a strong contender for the ballot on October 21.

He told the East London Advertiser: “That experience taught me the importance of listening to people and making sure the council learns from them and keeps faith with them.”

He added: “Not everyone wanted an elected mayor. Some people worry that the diversity of our borough will present a challenge to making it work.

“But I see the diversity as a strength.”

Mr Biggs, who stepped down as a Tower Hamlets councillor in 2002, has been a member of the London Assembly since 2000.

The race for an elected mayor for the East End follows a referendum when 60,000 voted yes’ on May 6. Neighbouring Hackney and Newham both have elected mayors.

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