Lutfur Rahman launches bid to become Tower Hamlets mayor again

Lutfur Rahman

Lutfur Rahman - Credit: Mike Brooke

Former Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman has launched his campaign to be elected to the position once more.

Mr Rahman will stand as the mayoral candidate for the Aspire Party, founded after his old party, Tower Hamlets First, was dissolved when he was removed from office in 2015.

He was voted in as the first directly-elected mayor of Tower Hamlets in 2010 as an independent candidate but later founded Tower Hamlets First, with which he was re-elected in 2014.

The 2014 election took five days to complete and was later declared void by an election court.

The court found in 2015 that Mr Rahman was guilty of corrupt and illegal practices.

The ruling removed Mr Rahman from office, banned him from standing again for five years and forced him to pay a £250,000 fine. However, he was not prosecuted further.

Mr Rahman denied ever acting dishonestly and denied any knowledge of electoral wrongdoing in his campaign.

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He apologised "to those who think I didn’t exercise enough oversight over campaigners in the last election".

Although Tower Hamlets is almost entirely Labour controlled, Aspire won a seat on the council in a by-election in August. Labour mayor John Biggs and at least two other candidates will also stand in the contest.