‘The time has come’: People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets disbanding to join forces with former Liberal Democrat rivals

PUBLISHED: 12:06 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:40 30 August 2018

Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrat chairman Ed Long with Shadwell Cllr Rabina Khan. Pic: JON KING

Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrat chairman Ed Long with Shadwell Cllr Rabina Khan. Pic: JON KING


The People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets has announced it is joining forces with the Liberal Democrats.

The announcement was made at a packed meeting in Nida House, Sutton Street, on Wednesday (August 29). Pic: JON KINGThe announcement was made at a packed meeting in Nida House, Sutton Street, on Wednesday (August 29). Pic: JON KING

Abul Assad – former PATH chairman – made the announcement last night at a packed meeting in Shadwell. He explained how his party wanted to join a mainstream former rival whose Brexit concerns aligned with PATH’s.

“The time has come now not to be partners any more, but to integrate as one party,” Mr Assad said before he was applauded after announcing PATH was being dissolved.

PATH’s only Cllr Rabina Khan, who becomes a Liberal Democrat as a result of the move, said: “My joining the Liberal Democrats is about making sure we take a stand together against Brexit, making sure that the people’s vote counts, making sure we can work together for a consolidated vision for Tower Hamlets, not just for now but for generations to come.

“The Liberal Democrat Party is the right place [for PATH] to go to in a time of crisis, in a time of Brexit.”

At the last local elections Labour increased their share of seats in the borough by 20 from 2014 taking 18 from rival party Tower Hamlets First, now dissolved. Labour now dominates the council with 42 out of 45 seats after winning 46 per cent of the May 2018 vote.

Lib Dem Elaine Bagshaw – who ran against Cllr Khan in the last mayoral race – said: “It’s been a turbulent few years in Tower Hamlets politics with a lot of game playing done to fracture communities.

“This is a big step away from that,” she added.

Ed Long – chairman of the borough’s Liberal Democrat Party – told the audience of Lib Dems and PATH supporters in Nida House, Sutton Street: “The Conservatives and Labour are pursuing a damaging exit at all costs. In Tower Hamlets voters voted to remiain in the EU.

“It is vital we hear residents’ concerns.”

He added that the Lib Dems and People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets (PATH) shared a common mission: “It’s important for parties to be able to work together on shared goals.”

Asked if Lutfur Rahman would be welcomed as a Lib Dem, Mr Long said no. “We hope his time and influence is in the past,” he said.

On past accusations of racism over campaign leaflets made against the Lib Dems in the 1990s Roderick Lynch – on the party’s London region executive – told the audience any race issues were in the past.

The borough’s Labour mayor John Biggs ignited a row on social media following the announcement warning the Lib Dems that any party welcoming her in “needs to face up to her legacy” in reference to her role in disgraced former mayor Lutfur Rahman’s cabinet.

Cllr Andrew Wood, leader of the Conservative Group on the council, said PATH and the Lib Dems joining forces would have little impact on Brexit because it was a national issue.

“The main issue in Tower Hamlets is the dominance of Labour. I don’t see this having any impact on that. It will be up to the electors at the next election, which is a long way off,” Cllr Wood said.

Latest East London News Stories

Yesterday, 17:43

MPs opposing the Brussels Brexit deal joined campaigners converging on east London for today’s rally at the Excel centre calling for a People’s Vote on the controversial agreement being debated in Parliament on Tuesday.

Yesterday, 13:00

Thousands campaigners are converging on east London this afternoon for a rally calling for a People’s Vote on Brexit ahead of Tuesday’s crucial vote in Parliament.

Yesterday, 08:00

Letters, contributions and comments sent in to the Advertiser this week.

Brexit continues to dominate the political landscape and Tower Hamlets Council deserves praise for setting up its own commission to examine the potential economic and social impact that leaving the EU will have on the borough.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Mobility scooter and wheelchair users can receive free advice on staying safe while travelling on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR).

Friday, December 7, 2018

Cinderella has brought the Christmas panto season to Mile End amid the eternal battle with her Ugly Stepsisters.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Researchers from Queen Mary University have helped create the Xingu Village installation taking visitors to the heart of Brazil’s native communities.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Tower Hamlets has lost 75 pubs although more people are working in the trade, figures have revealed.


Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now