Search

Tower Hamlets mayor candidate John Biggs re-elected to chair London Assembly’s budget

PUBLISHED: 14:57 13 May 2015 | UPDATED: 14:57 13 May 2015

Rahman's election victim, John Biggs, at his original 2014 election campaign launch

Rahman's election victim, John Biggs, at his original 2014 election campaign launch

Archant

Labour’s candidate for the hot seat of Mayor of Tower Hamlets in next month’s re-run Town Hall election has been re-elected as the London Assembly’s powerful budget chairman.

Anti-corruption campaigner Andy ErlamAnti-corruption campaigner Andy Erlam

John Biggs, who is campaigning to take over from ousted Lutfur Rahman to control the East End’s £1.2 billion budget, is back for his fourth term as head of the budget committee in today’s annual London Assembly reshuffle.

He has also been re-elected chairman of the Assembly’s audit committee, a powerful financial watchdog at City Hall—tools he can now use in his campaign for Tower Hamlets mayor election on June 11.

The London Assembly’s Annual Meeting voted for its new leadership.

The new Assembly Chair is Jennette Arnold, who said: “We provide reassurance that back-room deals, under-the-table tactics and simple bad business decisions are not allowed to happen. We are elected to hold the London Mayor and his functional bodies to account.”

Meanwhile, John Biggs fended off criticism of Labour from Andy Erlam, the anti-corruption campaigner whose election petition ousted Lutfur Rahman as Tower Hamlets Mayor when the High Court ruled his 2014 election void because of malpractice and fraud.

Rahman at his rally last week in Mile End's Water Lily centreRahman at his rally last week in Mile End's Water Lily centre

Erlam accused Labour of having “just stood by and done nothing” to stop the malpractice.

Biggs retorted: “I worked hard to provide evidence for the election petition and appeared for six hours under cross-examination in the High Court.

“But Elam would not have succeeded if it had been seen as a Labour hatchet job—it would have been a ‘grudge’ where we would be seen as bad losers if we had taken it on.

“The petition was a noble, spirited act, a valuable public service. I have respect for petitioners’ work.”

Two of the four election petitioners, in fact, are Labour members, Debbie Simone and Brick Lane restaurant owner Azmal Hussain.

Biggs also refuted Erlam’s claim to the East London Advertiser on Friday that he had been approached by Labour to stand down on June 11 to pave the way for him.

“We have never approached Erlam to stand aside,” Biggs insists. “He has every right to stand for election.”

Both Biggs and Erlam say the Law needs to change to ensure people who petition the High Court don’t have to place their livelihoods at risk to protect democracy. Erlam’s petition had more than £1 million in legal fees, which could have cist him his house if he had lost.

Other candidates for mayor on June 11 include Tory group leader Peter Golds, Tower Hamlets First’s Cllr Rabina Khan and the Green Party’s John Foster.

Latest East London News Stories

Yesterday, 12:00

A traditional rural theatre of ancient Bengal that uses hunting for story-telling through folk opera and dance in a theatrical setting comes to Bethnal Green tomorrow.

Yesterday, 10:00

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

Since the government’s austerity programme started in 2010, the council’s core funding from government has been cut in real terms by 64 per cent, which equates to £148m.

Yesterday, 07:00

Former arm-wrestling champ and Whitechapel stallholder Les Clayden is going back to his cockney ‘daisy roots’ to talk about ‘Swimming with Stingrays’.

Fri, 18:21

Police have found the body of a missing student with links to east London.

Fri, 16:14

The mayor of Tower Hamlets has voluntarily had a blood test for Aids in a council campaign for public awareness for people to take part in HIV Testing Week starting tomorrow.

Fri, 13:48

Campaigners have called for support ahead of a national unity demonstration against racism and fascism.

Fri, 11:45

Police are appealing for help in finding a vulnerable man who has been missing for more than a week.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now