Labour’s John Biggs chosen to take on Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman in 2014 election
PUBLISHED: 21:37 07 April 2013 | UPDATED: 10:50 09 April 2013
Labour Party members have chosen London Assembly Member John Biggs to stand against incumbent Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman in next year’s elections.
The former leader of Tower Hamlets Council was chosen as Labour’s preferred candidate to stand for Mayor by local members in a vote on Saturday.
He said: “I am delighted to have been given the trust of local Labour Party members.
“Over the next 12 months in the run-up to the elections, we will work hard to unite every community across Tower Hamlets, expose the failings of the current Mayor and deliver our message of hope to every voter in Tower Hamlets.”
The Assembly Member for City and East was chosen ahead of Cllr Rachael Saunders, another former leader of Tower Hamlets Council Cllr Helal Abbas, and former deputy leader of the council Cllr Sirajul Islam.
He will now stand against incumbent Mayor Lutfur Rahman – the borough’s first directly elected Mayor - in what is expected to be a closely fought contest next year.
Mr Biggs added: “Only Labour is on the side of ordinary people in Tower Hamlets and only Labour has a credible plan to tackle the housing crisis in the borough and attract the jobs and investment we desperately need in Tower Hamlets.”
As Mr Biggs is an Assembly Member an incumbent councillor will have to take over as Labour group leader in the Tower Hamlets Council chamber.
Outgoing leader Cllr Joshua Peck – who supported Mr Biggs’ candidacy – is expected to formally step down as Labour group leader in early May.
Mr Biggs declined to rule out the possibility of balancing the job of Mayor with his role at City Hall until his term ends in 2016, saying the cost of a by-election in 2014 would justify the move.
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