Labour drops its front-runner in East End mayor battle
PUBLISHED: 16:03 21 September 2010 | UPDATED: 16:56 21 September 2010
LUTFUR Rahman has today been dropped as Labour's candidate for next month's election for Tower Hamlets' first directly-elected mayor.
The controversial former East End council leader has been removed from the ballot by the party’s national executive.
A statement from Labour party headquarters read: “Having received a number of serious allegations concerning both the eligibility of participating voters, and the conduct of Lutfur Rahman, administrative action has been taken to investigate the allegations made.
“As a result administrative action has been taken to remove Lutfur Rahman as a candidate pending the investigation.Nominations for Tower Hamlets mayor close this week. In the circumstances, the NEC has no option but to impose another candidate.”
The candidate Labour is now putting forward is the current leader of Tower Hamlets Council, Helal Abbas, whom Rahman defeated in the party’s selection for a candidate on September 4.
In a separate development today, Cllr Rahman was reported to the police by the council’s Tory Opposition leader Peter Golds for alleged undeclared electoral expenses.
A letter has gone to Police Commander Paul Rickett requesting an investigation “into apparent breaches of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act by Lutfur Rahman who was selected by Labour as its candidate for mayor on September 4.”
Cllr Rahman brought a legal action against the Labour Party in August after being excluded twice from the shortlist for the nomination.
Insiders in the Lutfur camp say that he is planning to return to the High Court to try and get this latest setback overturned and is in talks with his lawyers this-afternoon.