Tower Hamlets councillor slammed by cycling campaigners for “offensive” tweet after rider’s death

The London Cycling Campaign has slammed a Tower Hamlets councillor for making “offensive and ill-informed” comments about cyclists.

Cllr Oliur Rahman, cabinet member for children’s services, tweeted after the death of cyclist Javed Sumbal in his ward in Commercial Road two weeks ago: “I have serious concern about cyclist not wearing any safety equipment and some cyclists think they own the road”.

Tower Hamlets’ LCC campaign officer Gerry Matthews said: “The better comment would be an expression of regret and a pledge to work to increase the safety of all road users in the borough rather than an inappropriate assertion of culpability and victim blaming.

“It’s an ill-advised and ill-thought out comment, and we expect an apology”.

Cllr Rahman insisted the tweet did not refer exclusively to the incident in which Mr Sumbal tragically died, and reiterated his views.

“I stand by this, because this is not the first time cyclists have died, and it won’t be the last unfortunately”, he said.

“I am sorry if she [Gerry Matthews] feels this is ill-informed, but this is my genuine feeling as a driver, and I am sure other drivers would agree with me.”