23 Apr 2015

Tower Hamlets election fraud mayor Lutfur Rahman removed

An electoral court finds the mayor of Tower Hamlets in east London, Lutfur Rahman, guilty of corrupt and illegal practices, and rules that his re-election in May 2014 should be declared void.

Lutfur Rahman (Getty)

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.”

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.”