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Why did Labour council accept Respect petition for elected mayor?

PUBLISHED: 20:09 02 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:19 05 October 2010

Dear Ed, I AM astounded that Tower Hamlets council has to accept the Respect Party’s petition to hold an election for a directly elected Mayor. The petition included nearly 7,000 names later found to be invalid

Dear Ed,

I AM astounded that Tower Hamlets council has to accept the Respect Party's petition to hold an election for a directly elected Mayor.

The petition, organised by Respect Opposition group, included nearly 7,000 names later found to be invalid. This included 2,094 people that didn't know their own name, 3,408 who didn't exist, 788 who didn't know where they lived and 642 who didn't even live in Tower Hamlets!

I know paperwork isn't Respect's strongpoint. They failed to properly nominate candidates in Wapping in the last council elections and then took this to court, and lost the case at taxpayers' expense.

But this petition beggars belief. Respect now wants the council to enter into another expensive folly.

An elected Mayor can only be removed at an election every four years. The leader of the council can be removed and replaced at any point by the majority of the council. This, as far as I am concerned, makes a leader more accountable and more democratic. It is why we have a Prime Minister and not a President. Heaven forbid!

Graham Taylor

Tower Hamlets Labour Party Chair

(Personal capacity)

Columbia Road, Bethnal Green

+++

EDITOR: Tower Hamlets Council is holding a special meeting tonight (Wednesday) to decide on when to hold the referendum.


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