The Government has requested that Lutfur Rahman’s application to register his new political party, Tower Hamlets Together, be subjected to a ‘forensic review’ by the Electoral Commission.
During a speech at the Tally Ho Conference Centre, Birmingham to members of the Electoral Commission and the National Police Chiefs’ Council on 3rd February Chris Skidmore MP, Minister for the Constitution, reiterated that the voting problems in Tower Hamlets had exposed a number of ‘flaws and gaps in the electoral system’.
“Despite the removal of the then elected mayor for corruption, fraud remains a real threat in Tower Hamlets. Government appointed officials still administer some of the councils’ functions,” said Mr Skidmore.
A forensic review
“Indeed, following reports that the ex-mayor is to re-launch his party, I have today written to the Electoral Commission asking them to undertake a forensic review of any application to register as a party.”
Last week LW revealed that an application for a new political party, Tower Hamlets Together, had been lodged with the Electoral Commission with a logo almost identical to that of Tower Hamlets First.
BBC London News reporter Dan Freedman this morning tweeted copies of the letter to Sir John Holmes, Chair of the Electoral Commission from Chris Skidmore MP (see below, LW gets a mention in the footer of the first page).
The speed of the Government’s reaction to the latest career move by Lutfur Rahman is unusual and may be an indication of how seriously they take the matter.
That does not mean that anything can be done about it.
Although found guilty of corruption and barred from standing for elected office, legally Rahman may be quite within his rights to establish a new political party.
It seems quite possible that the Government has been caught out once again by someone whose only interest is in himself and his corrupt rabble who still sit as Tower Hamlets Councillors.
The continued absence of any trace of shame or guilt by Lutfur Rahman’s of Tower Hamlets First / Tower Hamlets Together / Islamic Forum Europe / Jamaat-e-Islami / THING / PATH is surprising to many outside the Borough.
For those within our Borough it is simply business as usual.