Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman absent from Trinity Square Remembrance Day service

Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman

Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman - Credit: Archant

The embattled Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman was nowhere to be seen at today’s Merchant Navy memorial service.

In recent years he has attended the service at Trinity Square Gardens in Tower Hill to honour the lives lost by those serving at war.

His absence drew a reaction from London Assembly Member John Biggs who remarked on his nonappearance and said the Mayor turned up late to last year’s service.

It comes a week after Labour suggested the Mayor resign from his post over a damning audit report by accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The report on grant allocations and the sale of public buildings was ordered by local government secretary Eric Pickles and found the council had failed to provide “best value for money” to residents. Mr Rahman denied any wrongdoing.

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Former footballer and Duke of Edinburgh ambassador Mickey Ambrose said he was deputising for the Mayor. He added: “My role is to promote the Duke of Edinburgh in Poplar and I’m here because I think it’s important to get young people involved in the air cadets.”

A spokesman for the council said the Mayor was unable to attend due to a long-standing commitment to attend a young people’s education awards ceremony outside London.

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He added: “The Mayor attended a Remembrance Service on Friday at City Hall with other Mayors and council leaders and is looking forward to the Armistice Day event on Tuesday at the Town Hall.”

Representatives from charities, trade unions and shipping organisations were among those laying wreaths at the Merchant Navy War Memorial, opposite the ceramic poppy installation at the Tower of London.

Earlier in the day the Mayor tweeted: “Remembering those who died serving their country and all victims of war. Let’s seek peaceful solutions to current conflicts #LestWeForget.”

Read more: Tower Hamlets remember war dead with poignant service

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