New mayor spent most on election expenses

The newly elected mayor of Tower Hamlets spent the most on expenses in the election campaign out of the five candidates fighting to win for the new �65,000 a year post.

Lutfur Rahman won the mayoral election with 51 per cent of the votes and according to election expenses filed at the town hall he spent �11,316.69 on expenses including leaflets and advertising, venue hire and running his campaign website in the run up to October’s election.

Candidates were allowed to spend a maximum of �12,448.76 in election expenses.

Invoices filed at the town hall show Mr Rahman bought 250 rosettes costing 95p each and a member of his team paid cash �277.30 for a youth rally at Oxford House in Bethnal Green on October 12.

The Lutfur campaign also paid �158.62 to rent the basement of the Clifton Restaurant fro a press conference and �1,045.75 for a month’s rent of office space at Clifton Plaza in Greatorex Street, Spitalfields.

He was also charged �125 for design artwork for an A5 Ken Livingstone leaflet.

The former London mayor Mr Livingstone joined the campaign trail with Independent candidate Mr Rahman, sparking anger amongst local Labour activists.

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Mr Rahman was voted in with 23,283 votes.

The Labour leader Helal Abbas was the second highest spender, shelling out just �226.34 less than his rival.

Cllr Abbas has been picked as the Labour candidate, despite coming third in the party’s own selection, after Mr Rahman was sensationally de-selected by senior Labour party officials.

Labour spent �8,644.35 on unsolicited material to voters and �600 for a public meeting at the Waterlily Business Centre in Cleveland Way, Stepney.

Mr Abbas came second in the mayoral election with 11,254 votes.

The Conservative candidate Neil King who won 5,348 votes filed election expenses of �5,260.70 and spent �5,006.63 on election material and another �254.14 on advertising. His bill for rosettes came to �35 and his team spent �5 on ‘fighting fund’ letters.

Liberal Democrat John Griffiths spent �2,664.47, with �1,208.76 going on election literature and �800 on advertising. He also came in fourth place in the election with 2,800 votes.

The Green candidate Alan Duffell’s biggest expense was the �750 each candidate had to pay Tower Hamlets council for printing and distributing a booklet with their election message to all 170,962 voters.

Railway crew manager Mr Duffell who got 2,300 votes, spent just �1,023.25 on the election, with a bill of �273.75 on design work and printing of 1,500 flyers.