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Tower Hamlets ‘unity task force’ splits from Rahman’s ‘personality’ politics in battle for mayor

PUBLISHED: 21:43 02 June 2015

Shiraj Haque turns against Rahman's 'personality' politics [photo: Mike Brooke]

Shiraj Haque turns against Rahman's 'personality' politics [photo: Mike Brooke]

Archant

Lutfur Rahman’s former campaign chairman of the original 2010 referendum for an elected Tower Hamlets mayor in London’s East End has come out tonight against his former ally.

Shiraj Haque launching Tower Hamlets Unity 'task force' [photo: Mike Brooke]Shiraj Haque launching Tower Hamlets Unity 'task force' [photo: Mike Brooke]

Leading Brick Lane business and community leaders in the heartland of the deposed mayor’s support are backing Labour in the re-run election to replace Rahman on June 11.

Restaurant entrepreneur Shiraj Haque tonight launched a move backing Labour’s John Biggs in the battle for the Town Hall against Rahman’s chosen protégé Rania Khan.

Labour's John Biggs running for Tower Hamlets Mayor [photo: Vickie Flores]Labour's John Biggs running for Tower Hamlets Mayor [photo: Vickie Flores]

He launches his Tower Hamlets ‘unity task force’ at a public meeting in Whitechapel tomorrow where 200 community leaders are expected to join him.

“We can’t have personality politics of one particular group any more—that should not flourish,” he told the East London Advertiser.

Rahman's chosen protégé Rabina Khan canvassing in Cable Street to be Tower Hamlets Mayor  [photo: Vickie Flores]Rahman's chosen protégé Rabina Khan canvassing in Cable Street to be Tower Hamlets Mayor [photo: Vickie Flores]

“Community leaders and businesses want to rid the East End of this divisive Tower Hamlets ‘personality’ politics.

“Lutfur Rahman did not do justice to himself or the community which has been tarnished.”

The 57-year-old property magnate and Labour Party activist is making a U-turn from what he sees as “confrontational politics” of both Rahman and ex-MP George Galloway who led the 2010 campaign for an elected mayor.

“Rahman has to take the blame for what went wrong in his surroundings,” Haque added. “He has to accept the ultimate responsibility.

“Our community attracted corruption—we didn’t expect that.

“But confrontation cannot continue for ever. We have to find a peaceful way of engaging our community back into mainstream politics.”

His Tower Hamlets ‘Unity Task Force’ is being launched at a public meeting at Whitechapel’s Amana centre in Commercial Road at 6pm—aimed at steering the East End’s huge Begali community away from “isolationism” and the “personality politics” of Rahman’s former ‘Tower Hamlets First’ regime at the Town Hall.


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