ADVERTISER Facebook election hustings: How candidates for mayor will rid Tower Hamlets of corruption

Four of the candidates running for Tower Hamlets Mayor in the live election hustings on Facebook...

Four of the candidates running for Tower Hamlets Mayor in the live election hustings on Facebook... Hugo Pierre (left), Rabina Khan, Ciaran Jebb and Elaine Bagshaw facing questions from East London Advertiser's Mike Brooke. Picture: Tom Horton - Credit: Archant

Four of the seven candidates battling to win the election to be Tower Hamlets’ next all-powerful executive mayor on May 3 have vowed to make sure the sleaze and corruption of the past is finally over.

Our readers got the chance to question candidates for Tower Hamlets Mayor on our live Facebook husti

Our readers got the chance to question candidates for Tower Hamlets Mayor on our live Facebook hustings. Picture: Mike Brooke - Credit: Mike Brooke

They gave their pledges at last night’s live election hustings on Facebook staged by the East London Advertiser.

The post that controls a £1.2 billion annual budget had been marred by malpractice and fraudulant voting in a corrupted 2014 election which had returned Lutfur Rahman to power for a second term.

That election was overturned in the High Court and re-run in 2015 which gave control to Labour.

An Advertiser reader tweeted last night to ask what the candidates would do to tackle such election corruption.

One solution by People’s Alliance candidate Rabina Khan was a cross-party cabinet with no one party having control, that we should learn from the past—she was in Lutfur Rahman’s cabinet, although later breaking with his now-banned party.

She suggested a referendum on whether the public wanted to continue with an executive mayor or go back to the council electing its own leader.

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Hugo Pierre for the Trade Unionist Socialist Coalition promised he wouldn’t take the full salary if he was elected mayor, but continue with his current income of less than half what the mayor gets and donate the rest to the community.

Elain Bagshaw for the Liberal Democrats believes the May 3 election this time round would be better than those in the past, with the onus on rival parties to keep a “zero tolerance” approach to badly-behaved candidates.

Ciaran Jebb for the Greens felt there was a need to keep watch that financial donations don’t lead to corruption.

The hustings kicked off with the issue of over development of skyscrapers and major housing and commercial projects that get planning permission before things like mains water, drainage, sewage and public transport get sorted out.

This follows Thames Water’s report going to a public examination on May 10 that the network won’t be able to cope with the 16 major schemes going ahead across the East End, first revealed in the Advertiser earlier this month.

The London Assembly needs to rethink infrastructure before building is allowed, according to Elaine Bagshaw, as it was “a London-wide problem”.

The need, according to Rabina Khan, was to ease pressure on the Isle of Dogs and make sure “affordable housing” really was affordable.

Ciaran Jebb insisted that GP surgeries, schools and shops should be in place first, while Hugo Pierre said we needed to kick up a stink about over-development.

The live hustings chaired by the Advertiser on its Facebook page closed by urging viewers and readers to exercise their democratic rights at the polls on May 3 and vote for whichever candidate they chose—without fear or pressure from anyone.

Four of the candidates took part last night. The full list of seven in alphabetical order:

AHMED, Abul Monsur Ohid (Aspire)

ALI, Anwara (Conservative)

BAGSHAW, Elaine Shela (Liberal Democrat)

BIGGS, John Robert (Labour)

JEBB, Ciaran Alasdair (Green)

KHAN, Rabina (People’s Alliance)

PIERRE, Hugo Curtis (Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition)

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