BBC Panorama to air episode about Mayor of Tower Hamlets on Monday

The Mayor, Lutfur Rahman, and his deputy, Cllr Ohid Ahmed

The Mayor, Lutfur Rahman, and his deputy, Cllr Ohid Ahmed - Credit: Archant

EXCLUSIVE: The mayor of Tower Hamlets will be the subject of an episode of BBC Panorama on Monday that takes a critical look at his time in office.

The programme will air at prime time on BBC One and promises to stir up much controversy ahead of the Mayoral elections in May.

It follows a year-long investigation into Lutfur Rahman’s tenure as mayor since his election in 2010, and focuses on the use of public funds, the state of democratic accountability, and the role of religion under his administration.

A statement from the BBC said: “Up and down the country, directly-elected Mayors control billions of pounds of public funds. But can this lead to too much power being concentrated into the hands of one politician?

“John Ware investigates the directly-elected Mayor of Tower Hamlets in London – where opponents claim he’s used public funds both to promote himself and to create a local power base that, come election time this May, will help return him to office.”

It continues: “Panorama reveals evidence suggesting that, under the Mayoral system in Tower Hamlets, accountability and transparency have been put into reverse, with the Mayor refusing to answer opposition questions about spending decisions involving millions of pounds of public money - and also how he has injected faith into politics.”

BBC Panorama will air on BBC One on Monday, 31 March, at 8.30pm.