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

‘Corrupt and illegal’ only a legal term say corruptly elected THF councillors

The Wapping Mole has obtained a copy of the amendment tabled by Tower Hamlets First councillors that led to them walking out of Council the other week in a right huff.

Tower Hamlets First logo.

The amendment is quite breathtaking. But in a bad “Yeuk! What is that horrible stink making it difficult to breathe after treading in that nasty brown stuff on the pavement?” type of breathtaking.

The amendment was proposed by Cllr. Oliur Rahman (Stepney Green, Independent Group, Leader of the Independent Group) but clearly not written by heme hymn him as it is spooled pripper and grimmer iz korr currec is write.

No respect for the law or our democracy

The amendment illustrates that these councillors have no understanding the law and no understanding of, or respect for, the democracy process.

But then we knew that.

Both readers of LW will be aware that the corruptly elected Tower Hamlet First councillors who, despite being corruptly elected, still sit on Council can be a little sensitive.

Especially when they are reminded that they, along with their ex-leader and ex-executive Mayor Lutfur Rahman were corruptly elected.

Arrests imminent?

As the first arrests of Operation Lynemouth loom closer the corruptly elected councillors are getting twitchy.

Strange that.

The nervousness seems to have been part of the reason they staged their walk out during the Council session. But why you ask?

Only in Tower Hamlets

The reason is that two motions were tabled which essentially asked all councillors to (a) obey the law (b) ensure free and fair elections in 2018 and (c) help the criminal investigation into the Rahman regime that the Met Police is working on – aka Operation Lynemouth.

Here are previously published extracts of the motions and you can read the original full motions here: Non-Executive Report of the: Council 22 November 2017 (PDF):

From Motion 12.2

“That the residents of the borough will look to the police, electoral officials, political parties, their candidates and supporters to ensure that the elections to be held in 2018 are free, fair and untainted by the malpractice which so damaged the reputation of this borough in 2014.”

From Motion 12.4

“That every councillor should cooperate fully with any police investigation into criminality, including coming clean about any of their own actions and proactively offering any evidence they may have of wrongdoing.”

Nothing onerous there really. Just the obeying the law, fair elections and the helping the old bill thing.

Only in Tower Hamlets do councillors (corruptly elected or otherwise) have to be asked to obey the law. Sad. But we are where we are.

Despite not being a real political party Tower Hamlets First keeps trying (and failing) to be one.

What many residents do not know is that the corruptly elected councillors were so affronted at being asked to obey the law of the land that they tabled an amendment to the original motions.

This amendment was thrown out so the councillors (the corruptly elected ones) walked out of Council and the amendment was binned. Literally and metaphorically.

By pure chance the Wapping Mole has retrieved a copy of the amendment and, at a loss as to what to do with it, has decided to share it with the world.

Generous, huh?

Not some poor attempt at humour

The full text of the amendment is below. (Note to those unfamiliar with Tower Hamlets politics – this is genuine, not some poor attempt at humour).

Some highlights:

“The fact is that there has been no finding of criminal guilt against the previous administration, any of the councillors named in the motion or even against the former mayor personally.”

LW Comment: Criminal guilt? Quite true. But hey, the Op. Lynemouth team are well busy! Be patient!

“The Election Court, a civil tribunal, found ‘corrupt and illegal practices’ in the 2014 election, but this finding should be understood as referring to such terms in a distinctly legal sense.”

LW Comment: Say what now? Only corrupt in a legal sense? Huh?

“The ordinary reader would understand the term ‘corrupt’ as having its ordinary meaning in common parlance or street lingo.”

LW Comment: Well, yeah. That’s sort of the point.

“We are at a loss as to how a publication [the original motions] which states that a number of identifiable councillors were part of a corrupt regime and criminal administration is not defamatory.”

LW Comment: This sums it all up. If Tower Hamlet First councillors do not understand this it is because they do not understand the law of the land and have no understanding of or respect for the democracy process.

Op. Lynemouth motions: Amendment by the Independent Group (full text)

Amendment by the Independent Group to the Motion about Operation Lynemouth from Mayor John Biggs and Statutory Deputy Mayor Councillor Sirajul Islam.

Proposed by: Cllr Oli Rahman

Seconded by: Cllr Gulam Robbani

“Defamation lawyers acting strictly for my colleague Councillor Ohid Ahmed have served on the Monitoring Officer a Legal Notice. While Cllr Ahmed has to pay his lawyers from his pocket – John Biggs’s foolishness is being defended by the council lawyers funded by public money.

This clearly defamatory and unlawful motion brings the authority into disrepute should never have been allowed in its current form. We have made a few attempts to constructively resolve this matter but regrettably the Monitoring Officer has chosen not to listen — perhaps she feels she has little choice after having allowed this motion wrongly and improperly in the first place.

It is our view, shared by independent legal counsel, that the motion is in clear breach of constitution clause 13.2.2 of London Borough of Tower Hamlets, meets the serious harm ‘threshold of the Defamation Act 2013’, confounds the vital legal principle of the presumption of innocence and disregards paragraph 636 of Mawrey judgement.

The fact is that there has been no finding of criminal guilt against the previous administration, any of the councillors named in the motion or even against the former mayor personally.

The Divisional Court has declared, at paragraph 75 of its judgment in the former mayor’s application for permission to amend the grounds of his judicial review claim [2017] EWHC 1413 (Admin) we do not consider it arguable that the statements or conclusions of Commissioner Mawrey in his judgment in the Election Court amount to an imputation of criminal liability’.

The Election Court, a civil tribunal, found ‘corrupt and illegal practices’ in the 2014 election, but this finding should be understood as referring to such terms in a distinctly legal sense.

‘Corrupt and illegal practices’ is a legal term of art referring to breaches of electoral law under the Representation of the People Act 1983.

For the purposes of defamation law, terms are to be interpreted as they would be understood not by electoral lawyers but by the ordinary reader. The ordinary reader would understand the term ‘corrupt’ as having its ordinary meaning in common parlance or street lingo.

The method the Monitoring Officer has adopted to determine the defamatory meaning of the publication is wrong in law. Defamatory meaning is not determined by considering individual phrases as she believes but rather from considering the publication as a whole.

We are at a loss as to how a publication which states that a number of identifiable councillors were part of a corrupt regime and criminal administration is not defamatory.

Without divulging anymore due to Legal Notice, we shall play no further part in this debate which we are advised by reputable legal counsel amounts to the unlawful circulation of defamatory statements.”

The original Amendment by the Independent Group to the Motion about Operation Lynemouth from Mayor John Biggs and Statutory Deputy Mayor Councillor Sirajul Islam. (Click on image for larger version).

LW Comment

Breathtaking stuff huh? What on earth can ordinary law-abiding people do when people like this manage to steal power?

Just a reminder of who the corruptly elected Tower Hamlets councillors are (or were as one was imprisoned for fraud) as below:

  • Councillor Ohid Ahmed (Lansbury)
  • Councillor Suluk Ahmed (Spitalfields & Banglatown)
  • Councillor Mahbub Alam (St Dunstan’s)
  • Councillor Shah Alam (Mile End)
  • Councillor Shahed Ali* (Whitechapel)
  • Councillor Abdul Asad (Whitechapel)
  • Councillor Gulam Kibria Choudhury (Poplar)
  • Councillor Shafiqul Haque (Bethnal Green)
  • Councillor Aminur Khan (Whitechapel)
  • Councillor Rabina Khan (Shadwell)
  • Councillor Abjol Miah (St Peter’s)
  • Councillor Harun Miah (Shadwell)
  • Councillor Md. Maium Miah (Canary Wharf)
  • Councillor Mohammed Mufti Miah (Bromley North)
  • Councillor Muhammad Ansar Mustaquim (St Peter’s)
  • Councillor Oliur Rahman (Stepney Green)
  • Councillor Gulam Robbani (Spitalfields & Banglatown)

*Arrested for fraud, pleaded guilty, served jail sentence. 





 

 

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