Tower Hamlets launches petition to Queen at Tower of London to be its own ‘city’

The Tower of London has played host to the launch of the East End’s bid this-afternoon to become a ‘city’ in its own right.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman formally signed a petition with the Governor of The Tower and Canary Wharf’s strategy advisor.

The petition is being handed in to 10 Downing Street tomorrow to be passed on to The Queen, pleading for ‘city status’ for Tower Hamlets when she celebrates her own Golden Jubilee next February.

“Tower Hamlets has come of age,” said the mayor. “Our petition is a reflection of the diverse area that we want to showcase to the world, putting the borough at a level with the City of London and City of Westminster.”

The ceremony was supposed to begin with raising Tower Hamlets’ flag in the grounds outside the Crown Jewels gallery when it suddenly poured down.

The mayor was rushed off with the Govenor, VIPs and 10 youngsters from Harbinger Primary School on the Isle of Dogs, who presented their own letters of support, to shelter in the Queen’s House where the ceremony continued indoors.

The children suddenly found themselves in the media spotlight when they were interviewed for TV’s London Tonight.

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Canary Wharf’s strategy advisor Howard Dawber said: “Tower Hamlets is like the West End and should have the same ‘city’ status.

“It is central to Britain as a nation. The empire was built through the East End over the centuries with trade in and out of its riverside wharves and docks. It makes sense to become the third linked city along the Thames, side-by-side with the Square Mile and Westminster.”

Today’s launch at one of the world’s most iconic landmark royal castles and Britain’s most historic building was within the London borough’s own boundaries.

The Mayor has the backing of the affluent Canary Wharf business district, also within Tower Hamlets, which is backing the ‘city status’ launch with �10,000 match-funding to help the Town Hall’s bid to become a ‘city’ hall. But there are rival bids from Reading, Middlesbrough and Blackpool.

Tower Hamlets historically is a collection of hamlets, parishes, municipalities and liberties from down the centuries, all within three miles of The Tower, known collectively as the ‘Tower’ hamlets.

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