Ousted council leader Rahman wins Labour nomination for mayor

LABOUR party members in London’s East End have chosen controversial former council leader Lutfur Rahman as their candidate for the first-ever elected mayor of Tower Hamlets.

LABOUR party members in London’s East End have chosen controversial former council leader Lutfur Rahman as their candidate for the first-ever elected mayor of Tower Hamlets.

Nearly 900 party faithful voted on Saturday in a contest from a shortlist of seven which included the man who ousted him from the council leadership in May.

He won decisively with a clear margin of more than 150 votes over his closest rival, London Assembly budget chairman John Biggs, another former council leader who was tipped as favourite by Labour’s London regional HQ when the original shortlist of three was first drawn up in June, and pushing current council leader Helal Abbas into third place.

“All I ask is to serve my community,” Rahman told jubilant supporters outside local party HQ in Bethnal Green after the result.


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“I want the opportunity to work hard to make Tower Hamlets a better place for all of us.”

Saturday’s result vindicates Cllr Rahman, the man at the centre of a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary claiming allegations of Islamic domination in Tower Hamlets.

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He took the regional party to the High Court last month when his name was left off the shortlist twice and has now swept away all opposition within the party to be its official candidate for the election for mayor on October 21.

The result was declared by London Labour Party director Ken Clark, following the high turnout of 70 per cent of members eligible to vote.

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