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Mayor’s late arrival to Remembrance Day service ‘a disgrace’ says MP

PUBLISHED: 14:18 12 November 2013 | UPDATED: 14:24 12 November 2013

Mayor Lutfur Rahman's chair was left empty during the Remembrance service on Sunday

Mayor Lutfur Rahman's chair was left empty during the Remembrance service on Sunday

Archant

The Mayor of Tower Hamlets has been criticised for arriving late to the Remembrance Day service with one MP calling his tardiness “a disgrace”.

The Mayor stood to the side of the service with Cllr Kabir AhmedThe Mayor stood to the side of the service with Cllr Kabir Ahmed

Lutfur Rahman arrived at the service in Trinity Square Gardens, Tower Hill, on Sunday after it had begun, leaving his front-row seat empty.

The mayor stood with Cllr Kabir Ahmed, who also arrived late, at the side of the sunken gardens where the ceremony took place.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP said: “It’s a disgrace that the mayor arrived late and he should apologise.”

The mayor responded by saying his grandparents served in the Merchant Navy and his uncle was killed in the Second World War. He said: “Mr Fitzpatrick’s insinuation that I do not take the sacrifice of our brave men and women seriously is a personal insult.”

However, Mr Rahman did not provide an explanation for why he was late.

He said: “I arrived in plenty of time for the minute’s silence and wreath-laying.

“Only last week I announced that we will be renovating every war memorial in the borough in preparation for next year’s 100th anniversary of the First World War.

“The attempt by Fitzpatrick and others to score petty political points from such a sombre occasion is nothing more than opportunism.”


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