Tower Hamlets council leader steps down to run for Mayor

PUBLISHED: 08:00 12 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:00 05 October 2010

Lutfur... throwing in the towel

Lutfur... throwing in the towel

THE controversial leader of Tower Hamlets council, Lutfur Rahman, has thrown in the towel and is stepping down, to run for Mayor instead. He hopes to be adopted as Labour’s candidate for the East End’s first-ever directly elected mayor

By Mike Brooke

THE controversial leader of Tower Hamlets council in East London, Lutfur Rahman, has thrown in the towel and is stepping down, to run for Mayor instead.

He hopes to be adopted as Labour’s candidate for the East End’s first-ever directly elected mayor in the autumn.

The 43-year-old lawyer didn’t challenge for leadership at the ruling Labour group’s annual meeting on Monday night after they got back into office in Thursday’s local council elections.

He faces a tough fight within Labour ranks to be adopted as candidate for Mayor.

Former council leader Helal Abbas, who takes over from Rahman on May 27, does not want to be a caretaker’ council leader treading water until the new mayor takes over in October, say some insiders. He is being tipped as a front-runner for candidate.

Others, however, fear the London Labour Party, which took over the candidate selections for the May 6 elections, might impose former council leader Michael Keith as candidate. Keith has lost three elections in a row for a seat on the council. His unpopularity could leave the back door open for Respect, sources believe.

Helal Abbas, meanwhile, now has a clean slate to pick his cabinet, which he announces on Thursday.

But even the moderate’ Abbas is not without his controversial past, having been criticised for not backing Labour MP Oona King in the 2005 General Election which led to George Galloway snatching Bethnal Green & Bow for Respect.

The Labour group meets again on Thursday when Abbas announces his new cabinet.

Latest East London News Stories


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.

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


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

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, 18:21

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

Yesterday, 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.

Yesterday, 13:48

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

Yesterday, 11:45

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


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


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now