Biggs on Lutfur: “He has around him a bunch of fairly unsavoury characters…”

John Biggs, Labour Mayoral candidate for Tower Hamlets
John Biggs, Labour Mayoral candidate for Tower Hamlets

It is crucial that everyone in Wapping votes in the elections on 22nd May.

And by everyone I mean you – not someone else.

Many don’t bother voting at all, especially in local elections.

This year there are Local elections, European Parliamentary Elections and the contest for the next directly elected Mayor of Tower Hamlets all on the same day.

Ain’t we lucky?

Voting is contagious

I have no intention of telling you  who to vote for – just vote.

Better still get five of your friends, colleagues or Wapping neighbours to vote too.

Every time 30 voters each get five others to vote it means another 1,000 people at the ballot box. Honest! For the political geeks here is a starting link about voting behaviour.

Here’s how it works…

30 people get five other people thats 150 people.

Then those 150 people get five other people to the ballot box. That’s 750.

And then… well, you get the idea.

Get out and vote

Of course not everyone tells exactly five people and the further the message ‘Get out and vote!’ gets from the origin the weaker it gets.

But it’s a sound idea and worth a try.

Street politicians

As I was wandering around Wapping Lane this morning I bumped into John Biggs and Jim Fitzpatrick our MP who were out campaigning with their team.

John used to be councillor for Wapping and can often be seen in Cinnamon Coffee shop.

This evening there is an article in the London Evening Standard about John Biggs and his views on the Tower Hamlets Mayoral election. Definitely worth a read.

I often say that people should vote for the politicians they see out on the street even when there is not an election.

One very wet and cold Saturday morning last winter I saw John Biggs knocking on doors in Waterman Way. No advisors, no hangers on, just him.

He attended the last meeting about the Pennington Street problem along with other local politicians. Here’s a link to a report about that meeting on Pootling around… 

John Biggs knows Wapping well.

‘A smell of patronage’

He knows Mayor Lutfur well too. John’s comments on Mayor Lutfur in the Evening Standard are typical of the Labour candidate:

“I don’t think he’s an implicitly bad man… but I don’t think he’s a very good leader.” 

This is my favourite quote though:

“He has around him a bunch of fairly unsavoury characters… whose hunger for power occasionally appears to precede their belief in properness.  I’m sure that none of them are overtly corrupt but there is a smell around the patronage of the council which has caused a lot of anxiety.”


From recent personal experience I can confirm that ‘Fairly unsavoury characters’ is both true and an understatement.

More on the election in the next few weeks – and I promise more cute photographs of furry and or feathered animals to keep you sane too.

Oh and remember to vote on 22nd May.

You will make a difference. Especially if you get the vote out.

For more information:

Update: Eddie Izzard has announced his support for John Biggs today.

Eddie Izzard is supporting John Biggs. Eddie is the one on the left.
Eddie Izzard is supporting John Biggs. Eddie is the one on the left.


2 thoughts on “Biggs on Lutfur: “He has around him a bunch of fairly unsavoury characters…”

  1. St Katharine’s & Wapping residents had the misfortune to have been in the Bethnal Green and Bow constituency in 2005 when George Galloway won the seat. Throughout that period George Galloway and his Respect Party divided our community and pretty much ignored the needs of St Katharine’s & Wapping residents. Mayor Rahman has done the same thing.

    He failed to turn up to discuss a way forward after the double stabbing in Pennington Street. He was nowhere to be seen after the attacks in Wapping Woods. He failed to respond to resident petitions regarding the possible closure of Wapping Ticket office. He failed to turn up to a single meeting when Wapping was shut off for the Olympic Road closures. He routinely fails to deliver for Wapping residents and i really hope that folks put their political ideology aside and vote for the only candidate than can dispatch this man on May 22nd – John Biggs.

    I’m not going to pretend to be neutral. I’m a Labour council candidate for St Katharine’s & Wapping alongside Cllr Denise Jones. This election isn’t about me or Denise or political disagreements we have with Conservative, Liberal and Green colleagues – and there are many. This election is about dragging the borough out of the mire Mayor Rahman and his friends have put us in.

    Between now and May 22nd Google Lutfur Rahman. Google Tower Hamlets First. Google the members of his cabinet and party :

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