Smears continue against Mayor Rahman
PUBLISHED: 10:12 26 October 2010
I WELCOME Lutfur Rahman’s overwhelming victory in last Thursday’s election for Mayor of Tower Hamlets.
He was, by far, the best candidate and won through against a vicious smear campaign that has been running for months—even years.
Sadly, the smears are still going on, fuelled from within the Labour Party.
In what must be the most ungracious statement from Tower Hamlets Labour since Rushanara Ali’s maiden speech in Parliament, Labour has claimed that Lutfur Rahman will govern Tower Hamlets in the interests of one community, whereas the Labour Party—surprise, surprise—will continue to represent all communities. These claims are fuelling racial division in Tower Hamlets.
They are disgraceful allegations without foundation. Lutfur Rahman has a distinguished record as council leader and his election manifesto, if truth be told, was not very different from Labour’s. These claims also fly in the face of the fact that Lutfur Rahman was a Labour Party member for 21 years before being dumped in a ‘palace coup’ which defied all natural justice, clearly received the support of Ken Livingstone during the election (alongside the imposed Labour candidate Helal Abbas), and that his victory was so overwhelming, he must have received the votes of many Labour voters from every community.
The post-election statement from the Labour Party in the name of Helal Abbas and these continuing smears are what is dividing the East End—not Lutfur Rahman.
I call on all those in the Labour Party who still have some integrity to take action to stop this deliberate fuelling of racism for short term political gain.
Arbery Road, Bethnal Green