Lutfur Rahman’s corrupt administration is condemned by Tower Hamlets Council that he once ruled over
- Credit: Mike Brooke
The corrupt administration of ex-mayor Lutfur Rahman has officially been condemned by Tower Hamlets Council which he ruled for five years before being barred from office in the High Court.
Council members last night voted overwhelming to condemn the Lutfur years of malpractice and corruption by 24 votes to eight.
A resolution “to condemn the record of the previous mayor and his administration” finally severs the current Labour-run authority—which took over in 2015—from the shadows of the Rahman years.
It was put forward by Labour’s mayor John Biggs who took office when the corrupted 2014 election that got Rahman into power for a second term was overturned in the courts.
“Tower Hamlets has emerged from turbulence and chaos created by Lutfur Rahman and his administration, many who still serve as councillors,” his motion says.
This reference was to the ‘rump’ of Rahman’s now-banned ‘Tower Hamlets First’ party which has split and regrouped into two opposition groups on the council.
Mayor Biggs told councillors: “We had government commissioners and police investigations. We had key public services being investigated.
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“Decisions were made in secret by a mayor who didn’t want to be accountable and didn’t want to participate in democracy.
“We have to make sure that the disgrace of three years ago never happens again.”
Moves by the Aspire opposition group—whose members were part of Lutfur’s administration and are still backed by him in the forthcoming May 3 council elections—failed in their bid to amend Labour’s unrelenting condemnation.
Their group leader Olli Rahman, who was in Lutfur’s cabinet, accused Mayor Biggs of being “frightened of the previous mayor” and pointed out he had inherited from Lutfur many policies benefitting the community.
But Labour was backed in a rare move by Conservatives who had been at the forefront in getting government commissioners into the town hall during Lutfur’s public funding scandal.
The Labour administration, they conceded, had restored public trust in Tower Hamlets.
Labour had opened the council’s decision-making process, following Lutfur’s “deals behind closed doors” and public funds that were dished out to dubious groups.