Yesterday was polling day in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets for its first election of a directly elected Mayor.
Since May Labour have overall control with 41 Councillors out of 51 on the Council but will now have to work very closely with the new Mayor- who is their ex-Leader who they threw out six months ago.
Lutfur Rahman is the new Mayor and ran as an independent after he was deselected as a Labour party candidate. He was backed by George Galloway’s Respect organisation. He served as Labour leader of the Council until he was removed 6 months ago and 8 former Labour Councillors and Ken Livingstone officially backed him.
There are current questions into whether Ken Livingstone will face deselection as the current Labour party candidate for the 2012 Mayoral elections as he backed a non Labour party candidate in this election.
Only 25.6% of the electorate voted and commentators are suggesting that because of this low turn out Luffur Rahman beat Helal Abbas by 12,029 votes which is a substantial amount.
A senior Labour party figure was heard declaring Tower Hamlets, “a
’s Islamic republic,” due to his links with the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) which believes “in transforming the very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed…from ignorance to Islam.” These claims have been refused by the new Mayor according to Andrew Gilligan at the Telegraph. Britain
The results were as follows:
Helal Uddin Abbas, Labour party - 11,254
Alan Duffell, Green party - 2,300
John David Macleod Griffiths, Liberal Democrats - 2,800
Neil Anthony King, Conservative party - 5,348
Lutfur Rahman, independent - 23,283