Community news and investigative journalism for Wapping E1W and Tower Hamlets London

Ex-Mayor Lutfur Rahman back on Mayoral campaign trail

By on May 23, 2015 in Mayoral Election 2015

Yes you read that headline correctly. Ex-Mayor Lutfur Rahman and his protege Rabina Khan shared the platform at an election meeting on the Isle of Dogs on Thursday 21st May. It’s almost as if the ex-Mayor is running for Mayor again.

The Tower Hamlets First election meeting, organised by the “Rabina4Mayor/ Isle of Dogs wards conference”, was held at the Calders Wharf Community Centre E14 which is owned by East End Homes (EeH), a public building.

EeH was unaware of this meeting and in response to a letter from Cllr. Peter Golds, Paul Bloss the EeH Chief Executive stated that:

“I would hope that you know that it is not EeH policy to facilitate political meetings for the party formerly known as ‘Tower Hamlets First’ or indeed any political party.”

Mr. Bloss is now investigating.

Where’s the money?

With both the ex-Mayor and his preferred Mayoral candidate sharing the stage it is beyond dispute that this was a political campaign meeting.

The key question is did anyone pay for this event? Or was it free? If payment was made who paid and was it at normal rates or discounted? If discounted then it must be recorded as a political donation.

The law requires that the cost of hiring Calders Wharf Community Centre for this meeting must be declared in the return of campaign expenses.

This might seem a detail but the question arising from this is fundamental as it was blatant disregard for election expenses procedures that led to Lutfur Rahman and Alibor Choudhury being barred from public office.

Selective admission based on race

There are lots of odd things about this particular meeting. One of the most troubling is that it seems that entry to the “Isle of Dogs wards conference” was very selective.

Below is the account quoted by Cllr. Golds in his letter of an Island resident who heard about the meeting and went along to hear more about what Lutfur and Rabina had to say. (It should be made clear that LW has not spoken to this witness at the current time but we have no reason to doubt this account.)

“I tried to attend an election meeting held at Calders Wharf community centre at Island Gardens on Thursday 21 May. I walked in and was immediately told by a man presumably acting as a bouncer to leave or the police would be called. I was told to stop recording on my phone (which I wasn’t) and I was then told to handover my phone, which I obviously ignored.

When I walked in I could see Lutfur Rahman was on his feet addressing the hall, in Bengali, which was 100% Asian. Mainly men. Rabina Khan was sat next to Rahman leading the applause.

At no point was I asked who I was or why I was there, it was get out now from the word go.

I decided to leave after a few minutes and was followed by this ‘bouncer’ all the way through the car park. The whole incident was very unpleasant. It was clear that as a white person I was not welcome and threatening me with the police was laughable but at the same time worryingly sinister.“

At face value this sounds pretty standard stuff. The only surprising thing is that the resident even tried to go to the meeting.

Like many other Tower Hamlets residents LW has personal experience of the ‘muscle’ used to intimidate anyone who dares to challenge possible wrong doing during elections.

Isle of Dogs wards conference

Does anyone know what the “Rabina4Mayor/ Isle of Dogs wards conference” is?

Text messages were sent by the Rabina4Mayor campaign inviting select residents to this event so we can assume that Ms. Khan knows.

Rabina? Any idea? Can you tell the rest of us?

Rabina Khan

Rabina Khan

Cllr. Golds believes that the meeting was organised by the ‘Island Gardens Community Group’ (whatever that is) which is the brainchild of Tower Hamlets First.

Confused? You will be.

Readers of Ted Jeory’s blog will be familiar with an organisation called ‘Island Garden Community Association’. Have a look at the comment by JayKay 6 June 2013 on Trial by Jeory here. Is the ‘Island Garden Community Association’ related to the ‘Island Gardens Community Group’ ?.

Is “Isle of Dogs wards conference” really an organisation or is it just a bullshit name to confuse people? It sounds official with a certain grand ring to it. If you are gullible. And why ‘wards’ and not ‘ward’?

Settle down for a long wait

As Tower Hamlets has a problem with political corruption as blatantly obvious as a festering boil on the end of the Mona Lisa’s nose those who live outside the borough might think that the authorities will soon take action.

Those who live inside the borough will know that the opposite is true.

Nothing will be done by anyone in authority. Guaranteed.

The only notable exception to this is Sir Eric Pickles.

After all it’s only Tower Hamlets, so who cares?

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There Are 2 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Sultana says:

    Not sure if this will be printed but I’m. Not sure if I can belive anything I read here. There has been suh a witch hunt against the ex mayor that forums.forums . like yourself have discredited yourself. If there has been any marginalisation feel we as a whole Comm unity have contributed to this esp labour and conservative. By targeting ex mayor and his team with so.much untruths and possibly some truths you have forzed him into a corner trusting few. He had his arms open but hot rejected time and again. This is how Racism spreads. I was born and raised in Tower hamlet and love my borough, memory of my late paren’ts are everywhere here who too loved it here and feel sad at things that happened. And I blame everyone including love wapping.

  2. Syed says:

    OH YES, Tower Hamlets Homes is an Arms Length Management Organisation, they manage the housing function of the council, its not necessary to reply on Donoghue its a straight forward application to High Court, though has to get permission and its 2 month from the date of the reply from the Council. Please keep us posted re the outcome of your letters, it will assist my application for JR against the Council and yes, I do not wish to see Lutfur or his associates are re-elected, though I do not really like Biggs either.
    I do not really think any of them are suitable to run the Council!

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