Justice Mawrey’s judgement did not just concern Lutfur rahman, the directly elected Mayor of Tower Hamlets but also his political party “Tower Hamlets First” and those councillors declared elected in its name:
From those decisions, particularly the decisions above on the issue of general corruption under s 164, it follows that the court will have to report that ‘corrupt practices have extensively prevailed at the election in the area of the authority for which the election was held.’ Given the nature of THF as a ‘party’ and the reality of its control by Mr Rahman, this means that the election of all THF Councillors must be taken to have been achieved with the benefit of the corrupt and illegal practices found by this judgment to have been committed.
Yet one of the THF councillors intends to stand for Mayor by putting herself forward as an independent rather than a THF candidate. A new blog called Love Wapping has more details.
It’s editor, Mark Baynes, has written the following letter to Eric Pickles, the Communities and Local Government Secretary to say that:
It now seems that one of the THF councillors, Rabina Khan, is standing as an ‘independent’ candidate in the Mayoral election re-run.I and many others have no doubt that Rabina Khan will, if elected, perpetuate all the corrupt practises that have recently become public.I also have no doubt that if the Electoral Commission had not removed Tower Hamlets First from the register of political parties she would be standing under the Tower Hamlets banner.In her case the term ‘independent’ is merely a flag of political convenience and nothing more.
We are being taken for fools.In November 2013 and January 2014 I personally experienced the fraudulent electoral practises of Tower Hamlets First and have been reporting on this issue on my ‘Love Wapping’ blog (‘Greenbankgate’) since then.To this day I have seen no official report that explains this issue to me satisfactorily.
Today it has been pointed out to me that Cllr. Khan was the Tower Hamlets Council Cabinet member for Housing & Development during the time of the events of ‘Greenbankgate’ and the subsequent enquiry and as such Cllr. Khan oversaw the enquiry into these allegations.To put it simply Cllr. Khan was responsible for overseeing an enquiry into possible wrongdoings by her own political party and or members of the council housing functions for which she had corporate responsibility.In the light of the above I would be grateful if you could tell myself and the other borough residents if it is within your powers to prevent Cllr. Khan from standing in the 2015 Mayoral Election and if so will you act on this?
There are hopes that Tower Hamlets will see a fresh start. It needs to be a borough where democracy is restored and corrupt practices no longer accepted. But vigilance will be required. There are clearly efforts under way to frustrate the enforcement of proper standards of electoral conduct.