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Rahman out of race for Tower Hamlets mayor after see-saw politics

PUBLISHED: 13:05 27 July 2010 | UPDATED: 16:16 05 October 2010

THE controversial former leader of Tower Hamlets council has been wiped out in Labour’s official race to select a candidate for the first-ever elected mayor of London’s East End. It follows a weekend of see-saw politics after lawyer Lutfur Rahman held a press conference saying he was back on the list

By Mike Brooke

THE controversial former leader of Tower Hamlets council has been wiped out in Labour's official race to select a candidate for the first-ever elected mayor of London's East End.

It follows a weekend of see-saw politics after lawyer Lutfur Rahman, slammed in the Channel 4 Dispatches programme over allegations of links with Islamic Forum for Europe dominating the Town Hall, held a press conference just yesterday in Brick Lane saying he was back on the list.

He challenged his exclusion last week, then received a letter he says from Labour's Director of Finance and Compliance on Friday that his "name would be added to the shortlist."

But at 9pm last night, Labour's national executive ruled that the selection procedure was correct and it was going with the list of five candidates announced last week that excludes Rahman.

“Lutfur Rahman is not on the list,” a London regional party spokesman told the East London Advertiser today.

“The NEC disputes committee heard two appeals on procedure. We were able to say yesterday that they were not successful.

“All that was at issue was whether the procedure was correct, not the merit of individual applicants. The procedure was properly carried out."

The list with Rahman’s name left off does include the current Council leader Helal Abbas, whose name was also excluded from the original shortlist two weeks ago. Abbas now competes against four others for the Labour nomination including two former council leaders, the GLA’s present budget chairman John Biggs and Michael Keith.

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