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FORMER Government Minister Jim Fitzpatrick has pledged today to back Labour’s new candidate for Mayor for Tower Hamlets.

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FORMER Government Minister Jim Fitzpatrick has pledged today to back Labour’s new candidate for Mayor for Tower Hamlets.

He is to urge constituents to vote for Lutfur Rahman, who was chosen on Saturday by Labour party rank-and-file members out of a shortlist of seven to be their candidate for Tower Hamlets’ first-ever elected mayor on October 21.

Mr Fitzpatrick, Labour’s MP for Poplar & Limehouse, will canvas people on the doorstep to vote for Lutfur during his regular weekly ‘meet the people’ tours of his East End constituency, he told the East London Advertiser today.

“I’ll be knocking on doors on my Saturday rounds urging people to vote Labour,” the MP said. “He was chosen by party members and I will do what I can to support him.

“We have the best chance to win the vote for mayor.”

He added: “Our showing is the strongest for years. We won’t lose momentum because of the coalition Government’s attack on social services which will hit the East End.”

Nearly 900 party faithful voted on Saturday in a contest from a shortlist of seven. Rahman had a clear margin of more than 150 over his closest rival, London Assembly budget chairman John Biggs, who was tipped as favourite by Labour’s London regional HQ when the original shortlist of three was first drawn up in June.

It vindicates Cllr Rahman, who took the regional party to the High Court last month when his name was left off the shortlist twice. The result was declared following the high turnout of 70 per cent of members eligible to vote.

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