Pickles “Looking Very Closely” at Rahman Allegations

Tonight’s Panorama investigation into Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman alleged that he personally redirected £6 million worth of grants to projects of his choice, against the advice of council officers and with no explanation. Millions of pounds worth of grants were paid to projects involving the local Bengali, Bangladeshi and Somali communities, which Rahman relies on for re-election. Panorama also revealed the chief reporter of a UK-Bangladeshi TV channel censured by Ofcom for pro-Rahman bias is paid £50,000 a year by Rahman as an adviser. Rahman said it was “against his human rights” to be asked questions in a public meeting.

A source close to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles says of the allegations “we are looking at it very closely”. The most likely measure seems to be appointing an inspector to oversee how Tower Hamlets is run. He’ll be in for a treat…

See also: Loony Lutfur Calls Cops on “Racist” Panorama




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Jo Swinson on Chris Rennard…

“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

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