Home East London Joint campaign to scrap Tower Hamlets mayor in referendum

Joint campaign to scrap Tower Hamlets mayor in referendum


All main political events have come collectively in the East End to scrap the publish of mayor of Tower Hamlets.

Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens have launched a press release calling on the native governance construction referendum on May 6 to abolish the publish with its government powers controlling the council’s £1.2 billion funds. 

They have requested the general public to “vote for change” underneath the regulation, 11 years after the publish of government mayor was first created. 

Mayor John Biggs... hoping to vote himself out of a job on May 6 in referendum for mayor

Mayor John Biggs… hoping to vote himself out of a job on May 6 in referendum for mayor

– Credit: Mike Brooke

Even the present Labour mayor John Biggs hopes the city corridor will shift to being run by a council chief chosen by locally-elected councillors. 

This comes after a earlier mayor, Lutfur Rahman was banned from workplace in March 2015 after an election court docket discovered him responsible of unlawful and corrupt practices.

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The joint assertion this week by the primary events reads: “The earlier mayor had to be faraway from workplace by an election court docket for corruption. It wasn’t simple and it put the entire borough by means of huge prices and ache.  

“We are in a position to ask the individuals if they need to change to a distinct system. We assume the ‘chief and cupboard’ system is best and safer, with the best checks and balances. Most councils use this mannequin, relatively than a mayor.” 

It is signed by Mayor Biggs together with Helel Abbas, the final council chief earlier than a referendum in 2010 led to Tower Hamlets’ first election for an government mayor that 12 months – which Mr Rahman received in a landslide. 

Others signing embody mayoral candidates in earlier years — the Conservatives’ Peter Golds, Anwara Ali and Chris Wilford; the Greens’ Tim Kierly; and the Lib Dems’ Elaine Bagshawe, John Griffiths and a former supporter of Mr Rahman, Rabina Khan, who later ran as a candidate for the People’s Alliance.

Lutfur Rahman and Ken Livingston drumming up support in Roman Road Market on campaign trail for mayor in 2010

Lutfur Rahman and Ken Livingstone drumming up help in Roman Road Market on campaign path for mayor in 2010

– Credit: Dan McCurry

Mr Rahman’s campaign in 2010 to have an government mayor was backed by figures comparable to then London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who visited Whitechapel and Roman Road with him to drum up help.

He was additionally backed by Bethnal Green and Bow’s one-time Respect MP George Galloway.

2010... Ken Livingstone's walkabout in Whitechapel with Lutfur Rahman on campaign trail for executive mayor

2010… Ken Livingstone’s walkabout in Whitechapel with Lutfur Rahman (his left) and Ohid Admed on campaign path for an government mayor

– Credit: Dan McCurry

Supporters of the mayoral place on Mr Rahman’s Facebook web page at this time embody Rahman’s former deputy mayor Ohid Ahmed, who misplaced his council seat in 2018, and Cllr Harun Miah from Shadwell.  

Mr Rahman has already begun his referendum campaign circulating WhatsApp teams along with his message: “Yes for Mayor—Don’t take us again 10 years. Say no to backroom politics and sure to individuals energy.” 

Anti-corruption campaigner Andy Erlham... after court action that got Rahman banned from office

Anti-corruption campaigner Andy Erlham… after court docket motion that obtained Rahman banned from workplace

– Credit: Mike Brooke

Mr Rahman was banned from workplace for 5 years after the judgement in 2015, following a campaign by anti-corruption activist Andy Erlham.

The specialist court docket overturned the 2014 election which obtained Rahman again for a second time period. The six-week trial discovered large-scale election malpractice together with solid poll papers, pretend voting registrations and polling station intimidation. 

The authorities had to ship in auditors to take cost of council spending for 3 years after public funds had been discovered to have been given away to unknown organisations.

Backroom property offers had been additionally uncovered, comparable to the previous Poplar city corridor shut to Canary Wharf being offered off for lower than the value of a terraced home in the world.

Additionally, auditors discovered £1.5m lacking from the council’s youth funds in a scandal that uncovered unchecked and unauthorised huge spending utilizing council debit playing cards.