Tory cllr for Millwall defects to join Rahman
PUBLISHED: 11:02 02 August 2011 | UPDATED: 11:38 02 August 2011
A former Tory councillor has defected to join Lutfur Rahman's team in another coup for the independent mayor.
Cllr Maium Miah joins a throng of Labour councillors to have switched allegiances in recent weeks – many of whom have landed paid cabinet roles.
He has been given the role of executive advisor to the mayor and will report on charities but will get no further allowance.
Mr Rahman – who was Labour’s candidate for the mayorship last year but had to re-stand as an independent after allegations of vote rigging – now has 14 backers.
Cllr Miah said the cuts being driven through by the Tory government led him to quit.
He added: “These cuts are destroying the services our residents rely on. They are an ideological attack on the public sector.”
His decision came after he attended a trip to Leicester where the mayor and independent councillors were campaigning for a Labour party candidate in a by-election.
Cllr Peter Golds, conservative leader, said: “I was surprised at his decision, not least because he regularly voiced his opposition to the current administration.”
Political allegiances are becoming increasingly messy in the borough.
Tower Hamlets has the national record for defections with 29 members changing sides in the last five years.
Mr Rahman has also campaigned for Labour on several occasions.
Labour is still the largest group in the council with 27 members and the Tories now have seven.
Mr Rahman said he is happy to work with any councillors who “dedicate themselves helping our residents”.