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Erlam rejects Labour approach in run for Mayor of Tower Hamlets

PUBLISHED: 12:23 08 May 2015 | UPDATED: 09:31 12 May 2015

Andy Erlam in the East End after his High Court triumph [picture: Mike Brooke]

Andy Erlam in the East End after his High Court triumph [picture: Mike Brooke]

Archant

Anti-corruption campaigner Andy Erlam is lodging his nomination papers today to run for Mayor of Tower Hamlets.

Erlam on BBC London at Bethnal Green's Rich Mix centre after his High Court victoryErlam on BBC London at Bethnal Green's Rich Mix centre after his High Court victory

The election petitioner who brought down Lutfur Rahman in the High Court last month is determined to stand for the post in the re-run-election set for June 11—despite what he claims are approaches from Labour to stand down.

“Friends of the Labour Party have approached me on several occasions, including last night at the General Election count,” he told the East London Advertiser this-morning.

“They asked me to stand down as a candidate for the re-run election.

“The answer is—‘no, no, no’!”

Rabina Khan at Rahman's rally at Mile End's Water Lily centreRabina Khan at Rahman's rally at Mile End's Water Lily centre

His battle against Rahman’s independent ‘Tower Hamlets First’ minority administration, which is fielding Rania Khan to run for mayor, is matched by his ‘second front’ attack on Labour and now plans to confront them both at the polling booth.

“It’s ‘no’ to grubby deals behind the backs of the voters,” he stormed. “It’s no to manipulating the voters, no to stitch-ups.

“Some say local Labour leaders caused the crisis in democracy in Tower Hamlets personified by Rahman’s downfall.

“Everyone has known what was going on in Tower Hamlets and did nothing about it. Democracy necessitates competition and I’m happy to be judged by the voters.”

So his election agent Chrissy Townsend is delivering his nomination papers to the Town Hall.

But Erlam faces a tough fight in two corners.

The previously little-known campaigner before his marathon six-week court hearing is taking on Labour’s John Biggs, the London Assembly’s budget chairman and one-time leader of Tower Hamlets Council who was beaten by Rahman in the 2014 election for mayor that was declared void by a High Court judge in April 23.

He also faces an onslaught from Rahman’s camp with Rania Khan, their housing cabinet member. Rahman is barred by the High Court from standing himself.

Conservatives and Lib Dems were waiting until last night’s general election count was over before starting the selection process for their candidates, while Greens have chosen journalist John Foster to run for Mayor.

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