Mayor Rahman dismisses ‘intimidation’ claims in Tower Hamlets election

Lutfur Rahman on LBC

Lutfur Rahman on LBC - Credit: Archant

Mayor Lutfur Rahman has dismissed reports of voter intimidation during the local elections, saying there was an “atmosphere of festivity” at polling stations.

In his first public statement since his re-election, Mayor Rahman said the allegations were made by political rivals, who he called “sore losers”.

His remarks come after the Electoral Commission launched a review into the chaotic five-day election count, and Jim Fitzpatrick MP called for a wider inquiry into the whole election.

Speaking on LBC radio today, the Mayor said: “These claims of voter intimidation are coming from politicians who are sore losers.

“I went around each and every polling station on the day. I saw Labour supporters, Conservative supporters, I saw Ukip supporters, I saw Tower Hamlets First supporters, and it was an atmosphere of festivity.

“I did not see, nor did I witness, any sign of intimidation.

The Mayor continued: “If there were any intimidation, absolutely it should be reported to the police, and police should take appropriate action.

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“No intimidation were reported. Only subsequently, when people lost the election, who cry foul, and one particular individual made these claims. But police are investigating.”

Mayor Rahman also praised the work of the police, who were posted at every polling station and vote count, saying: “The police did a fantastic job in Tower Hamlets.”

He invited politicians and the media outside the borough to come and observe the forthcoming by-election in Blackwall and Cubitt Town ward, triggered by the sudden death of a candidate, to “see for themselves how elections are really conducted in Tower Hamlets”.

Read more here: MP blasts ‘shambles’ Tower Hamlets election and calls for wider inquiry

Tower Hamlets election irregularities investigated by Electoral Commission

Video: Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s re-election speech after chaotic count