It has been confirmed that the reason independent Mayoral candidate Rabina Khan missed Thursday’s Poplar hustings was because she was with the Metropolitan Police.
We know because she said so
Ms. Khan has previously denied meeting the police claiming that she had to attend a family medical emergency.
The original report by LW of the Poplar hustings on Thursday can be found here along with Ms. Khan’s denials of meeting the Met police.
Interviewed by LW Sister Christine Frost MBE sais that the message that she gave to the hustings audience “was what Rabina Khan said to me”.
And what Rabina Khan said to Sister Christine was that she could not attend the hustings because she was meeting with Metropolitan officers regarding Leafletgate.
Sister Christine, awarded an MBE for her many years service to the East End, has no political affiliation and is uncomfortable being in the spotlight.
As hustings organiser she simply told the audience what Rabina Khan told her.
No more, no less.
Below are Rabina Khan’s previous denials as given to LW.
First denial by Rabina Khan
“I want to make clear that I have not been interviewed by police, despite the bizarre smears circulating on Twitter.
A close family member had an emergency I had no choice but to attend to.
By the time I was on my way back from the hospital, it was too late to make it to hustings.”
Second denial by Rabina Khan
“I didn’t say anything about leaflets to Sister Christine when I sent my apologies and I’m at loss as to how leaflets even came into this.”
Witnesses contradict Khan
LW has spoken to eight difference audience members who all have the same recollection of what Sister Christine said.
Three of these statements are given below. Two witnesses did not wish to be named.
Witness 1 – Elaine Bagshaw, Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor
“Once we had said our names and which party we were representing, the Chair said that Rabina Khan had had to send apologies. A few people in the audience questioned for a further explanation.
Sister Christine then stepped in. As she was speaking without notes I think was simply giving us her recollection of a message she received from Rabina earlier in the afternoon.
Sister Christine said that Rabina had said she couldn’t make it due to an investigation into her leaflets being delivered in Wapping alongside the Tower Hamlets Homes newsletter.
Some members of the audience then heckled for more details (which personally I think was unfair) and Sister Christine said that was what she had been told in a message earlier, and that Rabina wouldn’t be joining us, as she was having to deal with the investigation.
I don’t recall her nodding when challenged further about whether the police were involved, and I don’t recall her passing any comment on whether or not Rabina is innocent or otherwise. From my point of view Sister Christine had expected to be able to pass on what Rabina’s apologies had said, and that was all. I personally felt uncomfortable about the way she was treated and the further pressure certain members of the audience put her under.
I have always found Sister Christine supportive when I’ve done hustings at St Matthias. Not to push a particular agenda but because she genuinely wants her community to be engaged in what’s happening. I think it’s a shame that some people now seem to be trying to twist her words and role from last night into something that it’s not.
Hopefully we will soon get more information from the police and Rabina herself to clarify the situation.”
“After meeting started (approx. 7:15pm) Sister Christine came in to read out a message to the room. She stated that Rabina Khan had confirmed her attendance of hustings yesterday, but she had received message that she could not attend due to issues around the ‘unfortunate’ leaflet incident where her leaflets were delivered with THH leaflets.
We were incredulous as we couldn’t understand why that would prevent her attending. I asked this and the Chairman said I could not question the messenger, to which I said I could. A number of people said only thing which could have prevented her was the police, so I asked directly ‘was it the police?’.
Sister Christine replied looking directly at me with an affirmative nod and mouthed quietly ‘yes’. She looked sheepish over this and it appeared she did not want to disclose this info.”
“From my memory Sister Christine said that Rabina could not turn up as she was being investigated by the police for her leaflets being delivered with Tower Hamlets Homes leaflets. The reaction of the crowd was mostly confusion as to why that should stop her being there.”
- The person who delivered the message from Rabina Khan explaining her absence from the Poplar hustings states that she just passed on the message that Ms. Khan was meeting with the Metropolitan Police Service regarding her election leaflets being delivered with Tower Hamlets Homes leaflets.
- Elaine Bagshaw says that the message was that Rabina Khan had said she couldn’t make it due to an investigation into her leaflets being delivered in Wapping alongside the Tower Hamlets Homes newsletter.
- Another witness states that the message delivered to the hustings was that Rabina could not attend due to issues around the ‘unfortunate’ leaflet incident where her leaflets were delivered with THH leaflets.
- Another witness states message given to hustings was that Rabina could not turn up as she was being investigated by the police for her leaflets being delivered with Tower Hamlets Homes leaflets
- Plus the other five people who Love Wapping has spoken to who attended the hustings and confirm the recollections of the others.
- Rabina Khan flatly denies the message was anything to do with leaflets.
LW View – Why deny meeting the police?
Quite what Ms. Khan hoped to achieve by her denials is hard to determine.
If she was attempting to conceal the fact that she was being interviewed by the police regarding alleged canvassing irregularities she has failed.
To involve an innocent intermediary who is a nun is shameful. But not out of the ordinary.
Anyone who is familiar with the damning judgement in the High Court by Justice Mawrey of Rabina Khan’s mentor Lutfur Rahman and her fellow Shadwell ward councillor Alibor Choudhury will realise that her behaviour is business as usual for Tower Hamlets First.
What potential voters will make of this will be known after Election Day.
The exact nature of Ms. Khan’s meeting with the police is unknown.
Little should be made of her no show at the hustings. Ms. Khan is not known to be a fan of audiences that reflect the true East End demographic.
It is just as likely that her police meeting was prearranged as opposed to an unplanned encounter with the detectives from New Scotland Yard.
Now everyone knows that the independent Mayoral candidate did meet the police last week maybe she will provide residents with more details.
Last word from Rabina
The email below was received from Rabina Khan late Saturday night.
I’m not trying to be a pain but I’m in the middle of an election campaign and I’ve got more pressing things on my mind right now.
I think I’ve been pretty helpful in response to your query. If you don’t believe me go and speak to who you like but as far as I’m concerned it’s over now.
We did go and speak to other people Rabina.
Don’t think it’s over though.
For more information