Rahman – who won as an independent candidate – was also barred from standing in a new mayoral election and was ordered to pay £250,000 costs.
The case was brought by four voters, who asked Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey – sitting as a judge – to declare the results of the election void and order a re-run. One of the complainants, Andy Erlam, said of the ruling: “it is a fantastic result for democracy”. Mr Erlam stood as a councillor in Tower Hamlets on an anti-corruption ticket.
‘Alarming state of affairs’
In his findings, Mr Mawrey concluded: “The evidence laid before this court … has disclosed an alarming state of affairs in Tower Hamlets,” he said.
“This is not the consequence of the racial and religious mix of the population, nor is it linked to any ascertainable pattern of social or other deprivation.
“It is the result of the ruthless ambition of one man.”
Latfur Rahman unseated as Tower Hamlets mayor after court finds him guilty of string of corrupt & illegal practices
Evidence had been heard over a period of several weeks, with lawyers for the complainants making a series of allegations, including wrongdoing in connection to postal voting, and at ballot stations, and ballot paper tampering.
Rahman’s lawyers had described the claims as invention, exaggeration and “in some cases downright deliberately false.”
However Mr Mawbrey described Rahman as an “evasive” witness, “whose evidence was untruthful on occasions.”
Rahman was not in court to hear the findings, but in a statement on his website, expressed his shock and said “we are seeking further legal advice on the matter in relation to a judicial review.”