Labour postpones Tower Hamlets mayor shortlist by a month

THE Labour Party has postponed its final selection for the controversial shortlist of candidates for the first-ever elected mayor of London’s East End by a whole month. It follows a legal challenge by the former leader of Tower Hamlets Council, Lutfur Rahman

By Mike Brooke

THE Labour Party has postponed its final selection for the controversial shortlist of candidates for the first-ever elected mayor of London’s East End by a month, it has emerged today.

It follows a legal challenge by the former leader of Tower Hamlets Council, Lutfur Rahman, who was kept off the shortlist three times.

Labour’s national General Secretary Ray Collins said in a statement today: “Following a legal challenge, I have taken counsel’s advice and decided, in the best interests of the Party, to add two further names to the shortlist of those wishing to become candidate in the election of Mayor of Tower Hamlets. A new date for the ballot of members has also been set.”

The two additions are Rahman, who was slammed in a Channel 4 Dispatches programme as having links with Islamic Forum for Europe, and Sirajul Islam.

Others in the list include the present Tower Hamlets council leader Helal Abbas, who ousted Rahman in May, and two former council leaders, London Assembly budget chairman John Biggs and Michael Keith. Also on the list are Shiria Khatun, Sirajul Islam and Rosna Mortuza.

The date of the ballot when Labour Party rank-and-file members in Tower Hamlets make the final selection has been rearranged for September 4.