Labour and Lib Dem Balls-Up Lets Lutfur Rahman Back In Tower Hamlets

Guido readers will have been following the collective calamities of the Labour and Lib Dem campaigns in the Shadwell by-election in Tower Hamlets, with Labour selecting a fan of a banned pro-bin Laden hate preacher while the Lib Dems were forced to ditch their candidate altogether just a day before the vote after Guido revealed some of the deeply anti-Semitic content he had posted online. Tom Brake is wishing he’d done his research before turning out to support him last month…

Both candidates still went on to fight yesterday’s by-election, with Labour’s Asik Rahman ultimately losing by 98 votes to the candidate for the new ‘Aspire’ Party, Mohammed Harun Miah. It won’t surprise anyone to learn who is behind Aspire – none other than rotten former Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman. Rahman is gearing up for another mayoral run in 2022 after his personal ban for a litany of electoral offences expires in 2021…

Rahman had previously given his personal endorsement to the Lib Dems’ disgraced ex-candidate Abjol Miah back in 2012, while the local Lib Dem campaign this time round was heavily targeted against Labour, helping Rahman’s new man Mohammad Harun Miah sneak in and giving the country’s most corrupt local politician his first electoral foothold back in Tower Hamlets. A Miah coincidence…?

Lutfur Rahman Loses Appeal, Remains Banned from Standing

Lutfur Rahman this morning lost the latest stage of his legal bid to overturn a ban barring him from running for office for five years. The former Tower Hamlets mayor – who was removed, banned and ordered to pay £250,000 costs after being found guilty of electoral fraud in 2015 – had asked two high court judges to reconsider the ban. Another attempt by Rahman to overturn the ban failed in January last year; he will remain barred from standing until 2020. Tower Hamlets is well rid of him…

Oh No, What a Shame: Lutfur Rahman Relaunch Bombs

Disgraced Lutfur Rahman’s attempt to return to politics is veering from disaster to disaster. Last week the Electoral Commission rejected his plans to register a new political party. Now it emerges Rahman will face a Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority tribunal. Rahman was found guilty of illegal practices by an Election Court in 2015; the SRA will argue that he brought disgrace on the legal profession. The Law Society Gazette reports:

“The SRA alleges Rahman thereby failed to uphold the rule of law and the proper administration of justice, failed to act with integrity and failed to behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in him and in the provision of legal services.”

Rahman’s tribunal begins on 7th March and is listed for four days. Will he go the way of Phil Shiner and get kicked out of legal profession?

Loony Lutfur’s Deputy Incriminates Himself

Ohid Ahmed is a councillor in Tower Hamlets, where he used to be Lutfur Rahman’s deputy mayor. In a Facebook post almost as ill-advised as his old boss’ penchant for bribery, Ahmed appears to have incriminated himself using his phone while driving:

In the comments below his post, Ahmed is asked by a friend whether he was in the passenger’s seat, to which he replies: “I often stop when I see a good view”. Guido will let readers make up their own minds about whether it looks like he stopped before he took his phone out.

We report, you decide…

Ken: “If Lutfur’s Done Something Wrong, Have Him Arrested and Put Him on Trial”

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Not a bad idea from Lutfur’s old pal.

In this LBC interview tonight Ken goes on to play down the seriousness of Rahman smearing Labour’s John Biggs as a racist. Worth remembering he still sits on Labour’s NEC…

Lutfur Rahman Roll Call of Shame

As Lutfur Rahman is found guilty of a string of election offences, here is a piece the Guardian published on him last year:

Apparently “there had been a concerted effort by the media and political establishment to smear Rahman” and “the story of Lutfur Rahman is a democratic success story”. Today he has been found guilty of bribery and corruption.

Dave Hill also wrote a long defence of Rahman in the Guardian, including how Rahman was victim to “pernicious, glory-seekers’ back catalogue of Tower Hamlets Islamist conspiracy theories”. He concluded:

“the point is, though, that if Rahman has sinned how many others are doing so all day, every day in ways that, in the end, differ if at all only in the means and detail?”

That renowned democrat George Galloway defended his ideological ally:

“Labour should be beating a path to mayor Lutfur’s door and asking him to sprinkle some of his stardust over them instead of expelling him, witch-hunting him and trying to drive him from office.”

While Ken Livingstone spoke up for his old friend:

“He is the subject of an Islamophobic campaign of lies. I have always stood up for people who are victimised.”

Another one of those days when Labour have to say “thank goodness David didn’t win”…

Lutfur Rahman Election Voided: Guilty of Bribery and Corruption

The election of Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman has been voided by a judge and he has been banned from standing again.

He is found guilty of making false statements smearing his Labour opponent John Biggs as a racist.

He is also guilty of using taxpayer-funded grants to induce votes.

And guilty of bribery and corruption.

Also guilty of corrupt practice of undue spiritual influence.

Guilty of “general corruption” too.

Rahman a wrong ‘un? Who’d have thought it…

UPDATE: Statement from Eric Pickles:

“I sent in Commissioners into the dysfunctional mayoral administration following the mismanagement of public money and the breakdown of democratic accountability. An independent Election Court has now found the Mayor and his agents guilty of corrupt practices, including bribery and the abuse of public money.

This judgment vindicates our action to intervene. The immediate priority of the Commissioners must be to ensure a free and fair election takes place on 7 May.

I will now ask the Commissioners whether further resources or powers are necessary to help them stamp out this culture of corruption in Tower Hamlets. The Commissioners’ powers may need to be extended in the interim before any by-election.

The police also need to take steps to stop further corrupt practices following this damning judgement. We must also challenge those who seek to spread further division in light of the ruling. There can be no place for rotten boroughs in 21st Century Britain.”

UPDATE II: Rahman ordered to pay £250,000 costs.

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Quote of the Day

Ken Livingstone deployed a corker on TalkRadio this afternoon…
“I joined the Labour Party 50 years ago this month and in all that time I have never heard a single anti-semitic comment.”

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