Five candidates fighting the Spitalfields by-election next Thursday

Five candidates will be fighting it out in the Spitalfields by-election next Thursday.

Shelina Akhtar switched soon after the 2010 election and became an Independent supporter of Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman.

The group’s new candidate is former council deputy-leader Ala Uddin, from Florida Street in Bethnal Green, who is aiming to return to the Town Hall after a decade.

Ala, a lecturer, was previously a councillor for eight years, including in Spitalfields, and has been a housing association board member and a non-executive director of Tower Hamlets Primary Care Trust.

He is up against Mr Rahman’s sponsored candidate Robbani Gulam, from Cottage Street in Poplar, who is a former paid Lutfur aide who gave up his job last month as social services advisor when to run in the by-election.

Former Spitalfields and Banglatown Cllr Shelina Akhtar was expelled from the council last month after she was jailed in January for council tax benefit fraud.

Three others are in the ring—the Lib Dem’s Richard Macmillan from Denmark Pace in Bethnal Green, the Conservatives’ Matthew Smith from Wentworth Street in Spitalfields and the Greens’ Kirsty Blake from Turner Street in Whitechapel.

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