Palestinian flag taken down from Tower Hamlets town hall
15:47 31 July 2014
The controversial Palestinian flag ordered by Mayor Lutfur Rahman to be flown over Tower Hamlets town hall in London’s East End has been taken down.
It had been hoisted yesterday over the front entrance in Clove Crescent, Blackwall, near the Isle of Dogs, on the mayor’s orders.
But the mayor told the East London Advertiser in a statement a short time ago: “Council facilities staff today found the flag had been ripped from the flagpole in an act of perceived vandalism.”
It was said to have been stolen and the incident was reported to police, but was hoisted back up hours later.
Police confirmed they were asked to investigate the indent. The area, close to Canary Wharf, is heavily monitored by CCTV cameras.
The incident comes only hours after a late night debate in which the council voted through two emergency resolutions on the fighting in Gaza.
Both Labour majority opposition and the independent mayor’s own Tower Hamlets First administration put forward motions urging the Prime Minister to help bring an end to the conflict and calling on the East End’s two MPs to continue pressing the government to take a leading role in securing a cease-fire.
A heated debate was followed by criticism that councillors were focussing on Gaza and not tacking local issues such as the crisis facing 22 GP surgeries in east London in danger of being closed through lack of funds.
GPs had turned up for an NHS debate which had to be shelved because last night’s council meeting ran out of time.