Livingstone: 'Labour breached all rules of fairness and justice'
PUBLISHED: 13:57 05 October 2010
KEN LIVINGSTONE has hit out at the Labour party's expulsion of Cllr Luftur Rahman, saying it "breached all rules of fairness and justice."
KEN LIVINGSTONE has hit out at the Labour party’s expulsion of Cllr Luftur Rahman, saying it “breached all rules of fairness and justice.”
The former mayor of London has now called for the ‘gang-of-eight’ Labour councillors who were expelled for supporting Rahman, to be allowed back in the party.
In a statement released on Friday, Mr Livingstone said: “As with my election as an independent in 2000, there must be no wave of expulsions of those who have campaigned for Luftur Rahman’s candidacy.
“I want to see the door left open for those councillors who have resigned the party whip to return so that whoever is elected can be sure that there is a strong Labour group that will work with the mayor to ensure the needs of Tower Hamlets comes first and we reunite the local party once the dust has settled.”
Ken did not directly say who he’ll be backing in Tower Hamlets mayoral election.
However the Advertiser understands he is supporting Labour candidate Helal Abbas, with second preference to Luftur Rahman.
This is despite Ken admitting the selection of Helal Abbas had been flawed.
He said: “Labour’s NEC behaved in a way that breached all rules of fairness and justice. It also means that the candidate who came second in Labour’s selection, John Biggs with his reputation for competence and honesty, has been treated badly. I will be arguing on the NEC that the party must now work hard to ensure that the crisis is not deepened.”
Ken, who is currently running as Labour candidate in the London mayoral election, has now urged Abbas and Rahman supporters to use their second preferences on the other candidate.
He added: “It is the same approach that my Labour mayoral campaign and the Green party used in the 2008 Mayoral election.
“A united Tower Hamlets ought to be the objective of everyone – we should not allow how Labour’s NEC has handled this to divert us from this objective.”
Luftur Rhamn was dramatically dropped from the Labour mayoral ballot last month amid allegations concerning his conduct and the eligibility of participating voters.