Respect to reconsider fielding candidate in Tower Hamlets mayoral election

THE RESPECT party has slammed Labour’s decision to deselect former council leader Lutfur Rahman as its candidate for Tower Hamlet’s first directly elected mayor.

Abjol Miah, who is the acting chairman of Tower Hamlets Respect party said: “The Respect Party will now urgently reconsider its position on standing a candidate for mayor.”

He added: “The decision of Labour’s National Executive Committee today to deselect Lutfur Rahman and impose Helal Abbas in his place is a disgrace. Once again Labour’s bigwigs have decided to override the clearly expressed preference of Labour party members in this borough who voted by a large majority for Lutfur Rahman.”

Mr Abbas who is now council leader came third in Tower Hamlets Labour party’s selection.

The Respect party campaigned hard for a referendum to secure the election for mayor.

Rumours are circulating that former Bethnal Green and Bow MP George Galloway who is currently leading an aid convoy to Gaza could be a last minute addition to the list of candidates or that Mr Rahman could be sounded out as a candidate for Respect.

Meanwhile Mr Galloway is protesting Egypt’s decision not to allow him to lead his Viva Palestina aid convoy through the county, saying : “If I am now unable to enter through Egypt this amounts to an exile from Palestine, a country I have struggled for these last thirty five years and which is deep in my heart.”