Mahbub Alam, long time key supporter of Lutfur Rahman, has published a statement in which he declares that the ex-Mayor’s time has passed and he will no longer be supporting him.
Ex-councillor Alam also says that he ‘will not be supporting Ohid Ahmed’s candidacy in Lansbury, or Harun Miah’s candidacy in Shadwell.’
LW does not know the reason for the timing of the statement but Mahbub Alam’s words may well herald the death knell of Lutfur Rahman’s political aspirations.
Below is the full unedited text of the email sent to LW by Mahbub Alam late this afternoon.
“After a long journey in politics, I have now made an important decision and wanted to share it with you.
Please find my statement below:
I have been involved in politics in this borough for some time. I was elected in 2014 as one of 18 independent councillors supporting Mayor Rahman. I supported him at the time because, along with thousands of others, I believed the Labour Party had treated him badly.
But while I am proud of the achievements that independent voices secured, over time I have become disillusioned with the endless struggles and splits that have characterised the activity of local politicians outside the mainstream.
At times I have made mistakes, and my tone may have contributed to divisions. I’m mature enough to recognise that, and to learn from my mistakes.
As a community, I believe we need to move away from personality based politics and be part of mainstream parties. We need to move away from emotional politics to politics based on rationality, policies and a programme that we can deliver for the community.
I’m sick of us making headlines for all the wrong reasons. I am saddened that some people still have not learnt to listen to the community and move on from politics instead of still trying to further their individual interests.
For these reasons I can no longer support Lutfur Rahman. Although well intentioned his time has past and we need to look to the future.
Right now, Brexit is clearly the most important issue in politics. It threatens our livelihoods and our lives. That must be our focus. And independent candidates seeking to settle personal scores can only distract us from that.
That is why I will not be supporting Ohid Ahmed’s candidacy in Lansbury, or Harun Miah’s candidacy in Shadwell.
I will be supporting Abjol Miah in Shadwell and Abul Asad in Lansbury as I believe they are the best candidates for these wards but more importantly they represent the type of politics I want to be part of and campaign for in this borough.
For Tower Hamlets to have returned to a position where all councillors are from mainstream parties is a positive step in this borough’s political development. Let’s not put that at risk.
Say no to more division.
And let us work together to secure a better political future for Tower Hamlets.”
‘For these reasons I can no longer support Lutfur Rahman. Although well intentioned his time has past and we need to look to the future.’
Mahbub Alam’s words are worth repeating. The clarity of his statement makes a refreshing change from the Brexit nonsense that currently engulfs our country.
This would seem to not be a mealy-mouthed apology but a clear statement of intent. There are many who will not take his statement at face value and will make it their mission to spin it to their advantage.
As a Tower Hamlets First and Independent councillor made a lot of enemies – including LW.
In the past, we have been merciless in our comments but we think it is now only fair to accept Mahbub Alam’s statement in the spirit in which it is given.
Whatever the result of tonights Brexit vote in Parliament the bottom line is that Tower Hamlets will, like the rest of the country, be adversely affected by it. Which means the poorest and the most disadvantaged will suffer. Only by previous enemies uniting will we be able to defend those who need our protection.
So if LW can make peace with Mahbub Alam there is no excuse for anyone else not to do the same. Of course Mahbub has to prove his words with actions, but this is a pretty big step by anyones standards.
British-Bangladeshi politics comes of age?
Mahbub’s statement is also a clear sign that those active in Bangladeshi politics in Tower Hamlets are finally realising that the only way to get things done is by joining a mainstream national party.
Ironic that this should happen as the Conservative Party is busy writing its own suicide note (if they can agree on the wording) while the Labour Party prevaricates and fails to provide leadership against Brexit – or anything else. The Liberal Democrat’s are clearly against Brexit but their voice is still rarely heard. Maybe they are just afraid of winning?
At a local level, Tower Hamlets is fortunate to have three opposition councillors who typify what good local councillors should be and who MPs of their respective national parties would do well to mimic.
As a direct result of Tower Hamlets Labour Party not being too choosy who they adopt as candidates there are two by-elections currently being fought, and it seems likely these will not be the last self-inflicted wounds caused by Team Biggs.
Will Mahbub Alam publicly rejecting the politics of Lutfur Rahman and Ohid Ahmed have an effect on the Lansbury and Shadwell by-elections? Most definitely.
Whether that effect is significant enough to change the results is another matter. Bottom line is that it seems Lutfur’s people are only canvassing support for themselves and their long distant glory days.
So it seems to be that British-Bangladeshi politicians in Tower Hamlets are finally coming of age. Maybe.
British-Bangladeshi politicians still have a lot to prove, but the realisation that the days of ’Independent’ parties driven by the cult of personality are in the past is a huge first step.
The next steps will be the ones that really count.
It seems only fitting that the Wapping Mole should pay tribute to Mahbub Alam personal courage in rejecting Lutfur Rahman’s divisive politics with a selfie. Moley hopes that this is received with the sentiment that it is given.
Good on you Mahbub.