Anti-corruption fighter Erlam—who brought down Lutfur Rahman—runs for Mayor of Tower Hamlets

Andy Erlam in the East End after his High Court triumph [picture: Mike Brooke]

Andy Erlam in the East End after his High Court triumph [picture: Mike Brooke] - Credit: Archant

The man who brought down what an election commissioner judge called the corrupt mayor Lutfur Rahman is now putting himself up to take over.

John Biggs at his 2014 launch for Tower Hamlets Mayor that he lost to Rahman

John Biggs at his 2014 launch for Tower Hamlets Mayor that he lost to Rahman - Credit: Archant

Andy Erlam, fresh from his High Court victory which barred Rahman from office for serious malpractice and intimidation in last May’s election for mayor, yesterday declared himself a candidate for the re-run at the polls set for June 11.

Anti-corruption campaigner Erlam has decided to stand in the re-called election following the Rahman’s disqualification.

“It’s not going to be ‘business-as-usual’ ever again at Tower Hamlets,” he declared.

“Many people have asked me to stand and I see the danger of one form of cronyism taking over from Rahman’s cronyism and corruption.

“The entire local government machine needs to be transformed.

“This is the chance in our lifetimes with government Commissioners in place to change everything for the better.”

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His first step if elected will be to shut down the publicly-funded East End Life, the weekly set up buy Labour but now taken over by Rahman’s administration and tainted as his “Pravda” propaganda mouthpiece, and end the “cult of personality” at the town hall.

“This is not the end—this is only the beginning,” Erlam vowed.

He has also turned his fire on the Met police this week, criticising Scotland Yard for failing to “investigate election fraud properly” and claiming it protected Rahman, with the council’s £8 million partnership which pays for much of the East End’s policing.

He wants an investigation at the town hall and claims there is “a strong corrupt network within the Met which hampers a good, impartial service to the public”.

He added: “There is evidence that some elements of the police have been trying to pervert the course of justice.”

Erlam, turning his attack on Labour, believes Rahman and his front-bench right-hand man on the council, Alibor Chaudry—also disqualified from office by Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey’s judgement on Thursday—met Labour’s Ed Balls to discuss a “pathway” back to the party, even though Rahman had been expelled in 2010.

“The election petition put paid to that grubby deal behind the backs of the electorate,” Erlam insists. “Miliband and Balls decline to deny the meeting—that speaks for itself.”

Labour did nothing to stop Lutfur, the anti-corruption campaigner maintains.

So he is standing against the man who was the Labour party’s victim of Lutfur’s election malpractice and corruption last year, London Assembly’s John Biggs, who represents east London at City Hall. Biggs also threw his hat in the ring at the weekend for July 11 poll.