John Biggs—defeated by Rahman’s 2014 election malpractice—runs for Mayor of Tower Hamlets
PUBLISHED: 09:56 27 April 2015 | UPDATED: 12:21 28 April 2015
John Biggs, the man beaten at the polls by Lutfur Rahman’s corrupt election campaign last year, is to stand as Mayor of Tower Hamlets in the re-run election in June.
The London Assembly’s budget chairman, who was humiliated at the polls last May, has now been selected as Labour’s candidate for the fresh election to replace the 2014 result declared void in the High Court on Thursday.
Biggs, who represents east London on the Assembly, is now campaigning for the June 11 polls to take back control of Tower Hamlets’ £1.2 billion budget.
“Tower Hamlets must now move on from the divisive politics of Lutfur Rahman and his disgraced regime of corruption and mismanagement,” he declared.
“We need leadership that is once again open and accountable and restores the trust of the people we’re here to serve. I want to put the council back on everyone’s side.”
He promised: “My focus will be to restore confidence and to serve local families, addressing the big issues and great opportunities we face.”
His manifesto is to focus on “affordable” housing, education, community safety and bringing back community cohesion to “build a better future in Tower Hamlets.”
Labour has been out of office in its traditional East End heartland since Rahman defeated them as an independent in Tower Hamlets’ first-ever directly-elected mayor election in 2010.
Their humiliation at the polls came after Rahman was expelled over vote rigging and corruption allegations during the local party’s candidate selection process that year.
Biggs had been Rahman’s party colleague before then—now he is poised to try and snatch back the post denied to him by last year’s election malpractices.
But he faces a fight with the man who brought down Rahman in the High Court, anti-corruption campaigner Andy Erlam, who also declared last night that he would run for mayor.
The Tower Hamlets Labour party has faced its own allegations of “cronyism” and was put on special measures under the control of the London party, which Erlam claims has had a secret deal to get Rahman back into its ranks.
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