Now Galloway could run for Mayor of Tower Hamlets
PUBLISHED: 08:09 22 September 2010 | UPDATED: 15:14 22 September 2010
GEORGE Galloway could run for Mayor of Tower Hamlets if Lutfur Rahman—the candidate Labour dropped yesterday—pulls out of the race, the East London Advertiser can reveal.
The ex-MP, who lost his East End Parliamentary seat to Labour in the General Election, quit the overland ‘Palestina’ convoy heading for Gaza when it only got far as France and took a Eurostar train back to London when he heard that former council leader Rahman had been removed from the ballot by the party’s national executive.
He arrived back at 7.15pm to be met by his Respect Party colleagues and was in talks till well into the night about the possibility of running for mayor himself.
One party insider told the Advertiser: “We have declared our backing Rahman. But if he’s not allowed to stand and decides not to run as an independent, George Galloway will consider running for the office. It is a distinct possibility.”
Nominations for candidates close on Friday. Rahman was in talks with his lawyers yesterday after the bombshell of being dropped from Labour’s list for the third time.
He has already been to the High Court when Labour’s National Executive barred him twice last month and forced them to cave in.
But Labour finally dropped him again after allegations about ‘suspect’ party membership among his supporters. The NEC issued a statement yesterday saying it had “received a number of serious allegations concerning both the eligibility of participating voters and the conduct of Lutfur Rahman” and an investigation was under way.
It added: “As a result, administrative action has been taken to remove Lutfur Rahman as a candidate pending the investigation.”
It then imposed a candidate, Tower Hamlets council’s current leader Helal Abbas, who Rahman defeated in the party’s selection process on September 4.
Rahman has not yet declared whether he is quitting or would take the plunge and run as an independent. Police have since been asked to look into allegations of Rahman not declaring his campaign expenses.