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

Biggs launches last minute attack against opposition – too little too late?

By on May 2, 2018 in Mayoral election 2018

Labour’s directly-elected Mayor John Biggs has launched a last-minute attack against ‘Lutfur Rahman’s candidates’ warning voters in a leaflet dated 2nd May of the risk of waking up on Friday morning ‘to find Lutfur Rahman back in the town hall’.

It is unclear if ‘Lutfur Rahman’s candidates’ refers to both Aspire and People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets (PATH) or specifically Aspire.

Partial text of leaflet

“Disgraced former Mayor Lutfur Rahman is banned from standing in tomorrow’s election, so he has a candidate standing in his place. He also has councillor candidates standing in every part of our borough. Rahman has been campaigning night and day behind the scenes to win this election and take control of your council again. Don’t let him succeed.

Three years ago, his candidate came within a handful of votes of being elected Mayor. Instead, residents across our borough gave me their support to clean up our council and return it to the mainstream. “

The leaflet, shown below, goes on to warn that all of John Biggs achievements while in power would be put at risk if Lutfur Rahman’s candidates take control of the council.

Address redacted (click for larger image)

 

This leaflet was distributed in Island Gardens ward, it is assumed that similar leaflets have been distributed across the borough.

The bar chart on the front page claims to show the results of the 2015 Mayoral election where Biggs won against Rabina Khan (then a protege of Lutfur Rahman) but only after second preference votes were counted.

Data science professionals look away now – bar chart from leaflet.

LW Comment

Many thanks to our friend in Shadwell who alerted us to the existence of this leaflet earlier this afternoon and another friend in Whitechapel who sent us a photo.

Our take is that the leaflet is the right approach – but clumsily executed and woefully late.

Few mayoral candidates have the huge electoral advantage of their predecessor having been kicked out of office for corrupt electoral practise as well as the extra Brucie bonus of him currently being the subject of a major criminal investigation by the Metropolitan Police.

So why has it taken Biggs’ team until today to realise that it might be a good idea to remind the electorate of this?

One leaflet delivered to voters on the eve of polling is unlikely to have any significant effect on the outcome of tomorrow’s election.

It might be an indicator that Labour’s analysis of voting intentions indicate that the incumbent mayor is in trouble and that victory is slipping beyond his grasp.

If this is correct then the question is who is the winner going to be?

With apologies to Boris Karloff (other mummies that rise from the dead are available blah blah blah)

The leaflet seems to identify Ohid Ahmed and Lutfur Rahman’s Aspire party as the threat but this goes in the face of all the evidence we have seen and heard during the last few months.

Not mentioning Rabina Khan by name as the genuine threat allows the Labour team to use fear of Rahman returning to power as a blunt weapon against the PATH leader.

Trouble is the mayoral election is not a binary choice between Biggs or The Dreaded Lutfur Rahman Who Has Risen Once Again.

The Labour attack leaflet would seem to confirm that the real race is between Biggs and Rabina Khan.

We shall see.


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