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Fury over Labour rift with Tower Hamlets chief executive

PUBLISHED: 15:56 04 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:25 05 October 2010

Martin Smith (far right) at last month's mayor's innauguration of Ahmed Omer and (inset) council leader Rahman

Martin Smith (far right) at last month's mayor's innauguration of Ahmed Omer and (inset) council leader Rahman

Carmen Valino

CALLS for a crisis council meeting over the future of chief executive Martin Smith at Tower Hamlets in East London have been made this-afternoon by Opposition councillors. Tories claim Labour council leader Lutfur Rahman last night told him to “consider your future”

By Mike Brooke

CALLS for a crisis council meeting over the future of chief executive Martin Smith at Tower Hamlets in East London have been made this-afternoon by Opposition councillors.

Tories claim Labour council leader Lutfur Rahman last night told him to “consider your future.”

Tory group leader Peter Golds has now lodged a formal requisition to the Mayor’s Office for an extraordinary meeting because the next scheduled meeting of councillors isn’t till July.

CONSIDER FUTURE’

“Martin Smith was told by the Labour leader he should consider his future,” Cllr Golds told the East London Advertiser.

“He is highly regarded with an outstanding career in local government. He had a grip on council budgets when he was Finance director and held tight reins on spending.”

News of the move leaked out from last night’s Leaders’ Advisory Board in which Labour cabinet members pour over agenda papers with senior officers.

NO COMMENT’

Cllr Rahman was unavailable for comment when the Advertiser contacted his office at the Town Hall at lunchtime. A spokeswoman told the paper: “There is no statement on this issue at present.”

Mr Smith, who is believed to be on a salary approaching £200,000, was still fulfilling his duties as Election Returning Officer when he toured polling stations in the East End during today’s EU voting, according to sources at the Town Hall. It is believed he is now seeking advice from his union.


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