Candidate’s sudden death hits local council election at Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets Town Hall

Tower Hamlets Town Hall - Credit: Archant

A candidate for the Tower Hamlets local council elections in east London has died 24 hours before tomorrow’s poll.

The death of Hifzur Rahman from sudden heart attack early today has thrown the election into turmoil in the Blackwall and Cubitt Town ward where he was standing.

He was a member of Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s Tower Hamlets First independent party.

The Mayor issued a statement saying: “It is with the deepest sadness that I must inform local people of the death of Hifzur Rahman, Tower Hamlets First candidate who passed away this morning after a heart attack.

“Hifzur worked tirelessly for the community he loved and his energy and dedication will be sorely missed.

“Our thoughts go out to his wife and family in this very difficult time.”

Hifzur Rahman was fighting in a campaign to return three councilors.

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The election for the three council seats has now been postponed in Blackwall and Cubitt Town ward, but must be held within 35 days, according to the Electoral Commission. Polling for mayor and MEPs is unaffected.

Labour, which currently holds the majority of seats on Tower Hamlets council, although in Opposition to the mayor, issued a statement today after news broke of Mr Rahman’s death.

A party spokesperson said: “This is very sad news and our deepest condolences go out to all Hifzur Rahman’s family and friends at this terrible time.

“Whilst we may have had our political differences, anyone who puts themselves forward to serve our community has our respect.”

The ward is a Tory stronghold. Local party officials also responded with shock to news of Mr Rahman’s sudden death from heart attack, offering condolences to his family.