Mayor Rahman faces £250,000 bill after High Court corruption guilty verdict
PUBLISHED: 14:54 23 April 2015 | UPDATED: 09:14 24 April 2015
Lutfur Rahman has been found guilty of corrupt and illegal practices by a judge after an Election Court trial into last year’s poll at Tower Hamlets which returned him as executive mayor for a second term.
The election trial is estimated to have run up legal bills around of £1 million, with personal costs against him set at £250,000.
The directly-elected executive mayor has been found “personally” guilty of wrongdoing and “guilty by his agents” by Election Commissioner QC Richard Mawrey.
Last May’s election in which he defeated Labour’s John has been declared void. Rahman has also been barred from standing at a new election.
Four voters led by anti-corruption campaigner Andy Erlam took legal action against Rahman and his Tower Hamlets First administration at the High Court which lasted six weeks, ending a month ago.
“It’s a fantastic result for democracy,” he said after today’s ruling.
“There will have to be a new election for mayor—Rahman cannot stand.”
Erlam himself stood as a councillor on his anti-corruption ticket, but failed to get in, following a day of voting marred by intimidation and threats at pollinng stations.
The four petitioners mounted a challenge under the Representation of The People Act.
Their lawyers made allegations including “personation” in postal voting, at polling stations and ballot paper tampering.
Rahman has been found guilty of breaching rules governing elections.
Election Commissioner Mawrey said he had “driven a coach and horses” through local authority law with corrupt practices that had “extensively prevailed”.
The conduct of his supporters on polling day had caused “considerable disquiet”.
He suggested Rahman, who was born in Bangladesh, had played “race” and “religious” cards and had also been an “evasive” witness.
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