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Labour candidate choice for Tower Hamlets mayor put back 2 weeks

PUBLISHED: 20:06 30 July 2010 | UPDATED: 16:17 05 October 2010

THE battle to select Labour’s candidate for the first-ever elected mayor in London’s East End has tonight been put back at least two weeks. The final choice was due to be voted on tomorrow at Tower Hamlets Labour Party HQ, but now won't happen before August 14 at the earliest

By Mike Brooke

THE battle to select Labour’s candidate for the first-ever elected mayor in London’s East End has tonight been put back at least two weeks.

The final choice was due to be voted on tomorrow (Saturday) at Tower Hamlets Labour Party HQ in Bethnal Green with rank-and-file members voting from a shortlist of five.

But former council leader Lutfur Rahman, who was slammed in a Channel 4 Dispatches programme as having links with Islamic Forum for Europe, made a legal challenge earlier today to scrap the shortlist which left him off.

Labour’s national executive withdrew from Rahman’s High Court action and agreed to put his name on the list.

General Secretary Ray Collins decided to put the selection vote by local party members back seven days, rather than face a costly, drawn-out legal battle.

But lawyers have today advised Labour that the earliest they could choose would be August 14—to be seen to be fair.

It could be even later than that, the East London Advertiser has been told tonight.

Rahman is now on the extended list of seven, after being rejected three times, along with Sirajul Islam who had been dropped from the list last week.

Others include current Tower Hamlets council leader Helal Abbas, who ousted Rahman for the leadership in May, and two other former council leaders John Biggs, the GLA’s current budget chairman, and Michael Keith. The remaining two are council children’s services cabinet member Shiria Khatun and health expert Rosna Mortuza.

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