Labour votes in new leader to take on Tower Hamlets mayor Rahman

The large Labour Opposition on Tower Hamlets council has elected a former campaigner against a directly-elected mayor as their new leader.

Joshua Peck was voted in last night to take the reins for the next 12 months.

He takes over the group after former council leader Helal Abbas, who was defeated by Lutfur Rahman in the poll for directly-elected mayor six months ago, stepped down.

Cllr Peck, former deputy council leader under Rahman, narrowly defeated another former council leader, David Edgar, to the post of Labour leader.

He now heads the largest Opposition group on the council which had been in control before Rahman’s victory at the polls in November.

The new deputy leader is Motin uz-Zaman, while chief whip Anwar Khan has been re-elected.

Mizan Chaudhury was voted council chair—a role similar to the civic mayor before Tower Hamlets went over to a directly-elected executive mayor.

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Cllr Peck’s victory could be a blow to plans for Mayor Rahman to rejoin Labour after quitting the party when its national executive deselected him for mayor—similar to Ken Livingstone’s readmission a decade ago after becoming mayor of London.