Lutfur Rahman’s councillors storm out over High Court ruling on Tower Hamlets council audit
- Credit: TH Tory group
Members of controversial Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s Tower Hamlets First party staged a walk-out at last night’s Tower Hamlets council meeting over attempts to discuss an audit of Town Hall spending ordered by Secretary of State Eric Pickles.
The walk-out came during an emergency resolution tabled by the Tory Opposition calling for an investigation into why the Mayor went to the High Court to challenge the audit.
His bid for a judicial review was thrown out.
The 18 rebel councillors refused to take part in any debate after advice that the issue was “sub judice” and would put anyone making public statements at risk of being “in contempt of court” and even facing prison.
But Tory leader Peter Golds held firm and kept it strictly to demands that the council’s overview committee looks at the “costly process” of going to court, removing references going into the legal argument about the audit itself.
You may also want to watch:
“The attempts at judicial review have cost East End taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds,” Cllr Golds said afterwards.
“It’s only right to look at how this decision was made, given it was dismissed as ‘hopeless’.
- 1 Road and rail disruptions to expect in east London this week
- 2 Isle of Dogs man who murdered teenager at Crossharbour DLR sentenced to 27 years
- 3 Man charged after triple stabbing on night bus in Mile End
- 4 19 arrested and cash seized in East End dawn drug raids
- 5 Why TfL won't restart the night tube on Jubilee line just yet
- 6 New pizza restaurant opening with drag and disco party
- 7 Man killed after fall from Bow tower block
- 8 14 charged with alleged drug dealing and money laundering offences
- 9 Police officers save lives in two sperate emergencies on same shift
- 10 Hundreds arrested after police crackdown on county lines
“Mayor Rahman and his (independent) councillors once again refused any idea of transparency.”
The meeting was suspended for 10 minutes during the walk-out while the Speaker took his own legal advice.
It resumed with Tory and Labour councillors voting for an investigation.
“They left their seats empty rather than discuss the issue,” Cllr Golds added. “It’s outrageous for elected councillors to refuse to discuss these important issues.
“Mayor Rahman can run—but he can’t hide.”
The council has formally applied to the High Court for an oral hearing before a judge to challenge the decision to bring in auditors to examine Town Hall spending, the Mayor’s office confirmed on Friday.