'Behave ethically' call to rivals after Aspire candidate is beaten up in Tower Hamlets election campaign in Wapping
PUBLISHED: 12:28 09 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:41 09 April 2018
An urgent call on all rival politicians in the Tower Hamlets council election to ask supporters to "behave ethically" has been made following an attack on a candidate for Lutfur Rahman's Aspire party who was beaten up on the campaign doorstep.
Abdullah Al Mamun, fighting for a seat in the St Katharine’s and Wapping voting ward, was beaten over the head with a metal pole by thugs while out canvassing.
“I thought he was going to die,” he said. “I felt that my head had split in two with the blood pouring out.”
Abdullah joined Lutfur’s new political party and attended its election manifesto launch at Bethnal Green’s Regent Lake venue just two days before the attack.
He was in Wapping at 5pm on Friday calling at Reardon House in Reardon Street when he was struck over head several times from behind.
Police were called and Abdullah was taken by ambulance to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel and given 10 stitches to the gash in his head.
He had previously been threatened and warned not to campaign in Wapping “otherwise we will sort you out”, he claims.
Aspire, which hurriedly called a press conference on Saturday following the attack, urged all politicians and parties to make sure their supporters “behave respectfully and ethically”.
Their candidate for mayor, Ohid Ahmed, a close supporter of Lutfur Rahman for 10 years, said: “I am totally disgusted at the behaviour of these thugs.
“These are terrible times that candidates cannot campaign in safety without being attacked.”
No arrests have been made by police following Friday evening’s incident at Reardon House.
An Aspire party spokesman told the East London Advertiser: “This was a cowardly, serious and despicable physical attack on one of our candidates while he was simply knocking on doors.”
The attack is the second serious incident in Wapping involving Aspire during the election campaign, following a dispute with a rival candidate for mayor in a tussle with potential voters at Glamis Hall last month. A complaint has since been made to police against Aspire.
The party also faces allegations from the rival People’s Alliance that it breached electoral rules by offering refreshments at last Wednesday’s manifesto launch, which was addressed by former mayor Rahman who is barred himself by the High Court from office for election malpractice in 2014.
The Tower Hamlets vote-rigging scandal hasn’t yet been resolved, with the Met Police coming under fire last year by the London Assembly for failing to prosecute anyone.
Scotland Yard meanwhile is investigating fresh allegations, first revealed in an interim report into voting fraud reported in the Advertiser in February. Its ‘Operation Lynmouth’ looking into election malpractice is currently examining 39 complaints in the run-up to next month’s elections.