Just 2½ years ago, Lutfur Rahman was selected as Labour’s candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets with 433 votes compared with 251 for local London assembly member, John Biggs, and 157 for council leader, Helal Abbas. Shortly afterwards, Rahman was accused by Abbas of fraudulently recruiting members, including at fake addresses, paying their subscriptions, and winning by this alleged deception. Abbas was rewarded by becoming the Labour candidate before losing again to Rahman in the ‘real’ election.
Now Abbas and Biggs are competing again in what is seen as a much closer race to be Labour’s candidate with councillors Rachael Saunders and Sirajul Islam, and the winner will go on to challenge Rahman in the next ‘real’ election. Rahman has since been cleared by Labour of membership irregularities and (he and his group of councillors) by the Metropolitan Police on 151 counts of electoral fraud brought by opposition councillors. However, now it is Rahman’s accuser who is himself being linked to new charges of membership irregularities and possible electoral fraud. Continue reading