Bookies predict Biggs win in Tower Hamlets as Rahman team gears up

John Biggs with David Lammy MP by the Cable Street memorial

John Biggs with David Lammy MP by the Cable Street memorial - Credit: Archant

Labour’s candidate for mayor John Biggs is the bookmakers’ favourite to win the election, it was announced this week.

Ladbrokes is offering odds of 4/7 on Mr Biggs to win, versus incumbent mayor Lutfur Rahman’s 5/4 odds of re-election.

Matthew Shaddick, head of politics at Ladbrokes, said: “We’ve got Biggs as slight ­favourite, but this could be very close.

“Rahman won by a mile last time but who knows what ­impact the recent criticisms of his mayoralty will have?”

Mr Biggs was endorsed this week by four members of his party’s Shadow Cabinet, ­including Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls.

The backing from MPs Chuka Umunna, Mary Creagh and Rachel Reeves and Mr Balls came ahead of a campaign rally for Mr Biggs at the Cable Street memorial with Tottenham MP David Lammy.

Mr Balls said: “The Tory-led government has created a cost-of-living crisis that is hitting areas like Tower Hamlets the hardest.

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“A Labour council led by John Biggs as mayor is essential to stand up for local people and create jobs and economic growth in the borough.”

David Lammy, best known for his speeches during the 2011 London riots, said: “Tower Hamlets needs a mayor that can unite the borough. John Biggs is that person. John will bring much-needed accountability and transparency to the council and along with his great team of council candidates.

“I know he’ll work hard every day for a cleaner, safer and brighter borough.”

Mr Rahman has ­announced his local election candidates, who will contest elections in every ward in the borough under the banner Tower Hamlets First.

They include ex-Charlton footballer Mickey Ambrose and former councillors and activists from the Labour and Conservative parties. Speaking at a launch event, Mr Rahman said: “The people of Tower Hamlets at last have an alternative to the lack of vision and divisive politics of the local Labour and Tory parties.

“I’m proud that we’re standing a diverse slate with candidates from every walk of life and real experience living in and delivering for this community.”

He will announce his manifesto in the next few days

Mr Ambrose said: “My family have roots in the Labour Party, but in Tower Hamlets they’ve got no ideas. May 22 is the day to send a clear message that traditional parties have failed the people of the East End and make the choice that puts Tower Hamlets First.”