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Lutfur Rahman: former party official threatens to “load the revolver”

Hatred runs deep in Tower Hamlets Labour – as we’ve reported before. The East London borough’s party branch still remains deeply divided after Lutfur Rahman, selected to fight for the directly-elected mayoralty by Labour, was dropped by the party national executive committee, after one of his rivals made allegations of extremism against him – claims that were later found to be without foundation. Rahman stood as an independent against the official Labour candidate – surprise, surprise, the same third-placed rival – like Ken Livingstone before him. He was subsequently expelled from Labour.

But sometimes, it seems, Tower Hamlets hatred is more infectious to those who poke their noses in from outside. This week, a trio of senior Blairites found themselves in the thick of it. Rob Marchant, a former manager at Labour HQ, caused a storm when he announced on Twitter that he would “load the revolver” if Rahman was re-admitted to the Labour party.

“We can all take turns,” he added, in comments directed at, among others, former Prescott-advisor Ian MacKenzie and former Labour MP Gregory Pope.

And what if Rahman’s status remained uncertain for longer? What precautions could Marchant take? “Makes mental note to keep revolver well cleaned and oiled,” another tweet proclaimed.

An ill-judged joke? you might ask. But the remark is not the first to go beyond basic standards of decency when it comes to Rahman. A recent article on Tower Hamlets on the Independent website prompted comments such as:

I’d like to pay his taxi fare home to Islamabad.

And:

Foreign tribes voting in their own. The only way to reverse this ‘experiment’ is ethnic cleansing’

And last year, a Labour councillor was accused of making death threats against one of his former group colleagues, Rania Khan, who now serves in Rahman’s cabinet.

So perhaps Rahman has decided enough is enough. The police have been called. In the Guardian, Hugh Muir quotes a spokesperson from Scotland Yard:

Police are able to confirm that Tower Hamlets CID are investigating an allegation of crime arising from conversations on a social networking site,” says Scotland Yard. “No arrests have been made at this time.

And Rahman told the Evening Standard:

This is now a police matter, and it would not be appropriate for me to comment any further while their investigation is ongoing.

Ouch! It just got serious.

5 Comments

  1. James says:

    Hang on…..

    Didn’t this blog once publish a gory photoshopped picture of George Osborne with his throat cut?

  2. John P Reid says:

    and a photshopped photo of Blair with Jimmy Saville

  3. Ben says:

    How very amusing. This is a complete decontextualisation of Marchant’s (possibly foolish/tasteless/silly – delete as fits your subjective opinion) quips which were about topping himself rather than Rahman. If you dislike the guy’s centrist politics then surely it would be more decent to attack him for being a right wing sell-out or whatever the hard left nomenclature du jour is rather than basically (and quite transparently) making stuff up. Somewhat helpful though, as one can bear in mind to take anything Wright writes with a tablespoonful of salt in future.

  4. Dave says:

    “were about topping himself rather than Rahman.”

    That certainly didn’t occur to me when I read of Marchant’s outburst. And indeed, to me, his ‘after the event’ explanation appeared to be an arse-covering exercise.

  5. John p Reid says:

    Dave , saying that people are upset, so they make out they are going to top themselves ,is a long standing labour tradition, our local secretary said it after. A awkward meeting last week, intact Roy Hattersley said the same if my name sake ,the other John Rid had been elected leader ,when Gordon brown took over,

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