Banned former mayor of Tower Hamlets loses appeal bid

Lutfur Rahman has lost his appeal bid. Picture: MIKE BROOKE

Lutfur Rahman has lost his appeal bid. Picture: MIKE BROOKE - Credit: Archant

The former mayor of Tower Hamlets who was barred from running for office after being found guilty of corrupt and illegal practices has lost the latest stage of an appeal bid.

Lutfur Rahman, who was the directly elected mayor, was banned for five years following a specialist court hearing in 2015.

He has asked two judges to reconsider his case at a High Court hearing in London in May.

Lord Justice Lloyd Jones and Mr Justice Supperstone dismissed his application in a ruling published today.

Four voters, headed by writer and film-maker Andy Erlam, took legal action against Mr Rahman, under the provisions of the Representation of The People Act, more than two years ago.

Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey made a series of findings against Mr Rahman in April 2015 following an Election Court trial in London.

Mr Rahman originally mounted an appeal against rulings made by Mr Mawrey in July 2015.

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He asked Lord Justice Lloyd Jones and Mr Justice Supperstone to give the go ahead for a judicial review

They gave him permission to challenge one of Mr Mawrey’s findings - relating to the way religious leaders had been persuaded to use influence on voters.

But they said the law meant that, even if he succeeded in overturning that one aspect of the ruling at a final judicial review hearing, his five-year ban would remain.

In his latest appeal bid Mr Rahman asked judges to allow him to make a wider challenge.

But Lord Justice Lloyd Jones and Mr Justice Supperstone refused.

Lawyers representing Mr Rahman said the new application had been made in the wake of a decision not to prosecute.

They said prosecutors had told Mr Rahman that he would not face criminal charges because there was “insufficient evidence”.

Mr Rahman said there was “little, if any” evidence of wrongdoing against him.

Lawyers suggested it would be wrong to allow some of Mr Mawrey’s findings to stand in the light of that decision not to bring criminal charges.

Mr Erlam said he was pleased by today’s ruling.

But he said Mr Rahman could still press ahead with an appeal against Mr Mawrey’s findings on “religious influence”.

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