Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman loses High Court bid to throw out challenge to his election
PUBLISHED: 11:51 29 July 2014 | UPDATED: 11:52 29 July 2014
Tower Hamlets independent Mayor Lutfur Rahman has lost his High Court bid to throw out a challenge to May’s local election in London’s East End which put him back in power for a second term.
Now a full inquiry into the controversial election is to go ahead after a petition by a group of voters naming the mayor claimed fraud was being committed by his supporters during the election.
The High Court this morning rejected his bid to block an investigation into how he won a second term at the May 22 polls.
Police were given allegations of voter intimidation at polling stations and alleged vote rigging.
Police had to be stationed at every Tower Hamlets poling station.
The election petition to get the result declared void, alleging fraud, was headed by Andy Erlam, who stood as a councillor on an anti-corruption ticket.
Lawyers for Mr Rahman applied yesterday for the petition to be dismissed as “an abuse of process”, claiming sufficient particulars of the allegations were not given.
But Judges Supperstone and Spencer today reached the conclusion that Mr Erlam’s petition was “not a nullity in whole or in part” and would give their reasons in full next month.
They denied the Rahman lawyers leave to appeal, but agreed to order further details of the allegations to be given by August 18.
The court also refused an application by Mr Erlam and his three fellow petitioners for the trial of the petition to take place outside Tower Hamlets for fear about large crowds potentially “intimidating witnesses” if it was held in the East End.