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Lutfur Rahman names woman he wants to succeed him as mayor

At a rally packed with his supporters, former Tower Hamlets mayor Luftur Rahman has named the current cabinet member for housing Rabina Khan as the next mayoral candidate for his party. But it's unclear if she'll be allowed to stand, as the Tower Hamlets First party has been banned from the ballot.

Rabina Khan is currently the cabinet member for housing at Tower Hamlets council Credit: Tower Hamlets Council

At the rally at the Waterlily Conference Centre on Mile End Road, Cllr Khan insisted she was not a "puppet". She told the crowd she was proud to be Bangladeshi, proud to be Muslim and proud to be British.

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Commissioners sent to Tower Hamlets get tougher powers

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has extended the powers of the commissioners sent into Tower Hamlets last year to "clean up this rotten administration".

Eric Pickles Credit: PA

They previously had power over grants, contracts and electoral administration. But the Tory minister has decided it is necessary to widen their remit in light of Lutfur Rahman's conviction.

He was ordered to step down as mayor of Tower Hamlets last week after a judge found him guilty of corrupt and illegal practices following a High Court hearing.

Lutfur Rahman Credit: PA

Commissioners can now intervene in any area they deem necessary and that the acting mayor - previously the deputy mayor - will not be able to do anything they judge to be inappropriate in the run-up the by-election.

Ken Livingstone stands by disgraced Tower Hamlets Mayor

Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone says if Lutfur Rahman has broken the law, he should be arrested Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Archive

Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, a long-time supporter of Lutfur Rahman has criticised the Election Commissioner's decision to throw the Tower Hamlets Mayor out of office.

Speaking to LBC radio Mr Livingstone said, "If he broke a law why haven't the police arrested and charged him?"

Of the Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey he commented, "[He is an] unelected bureaucrat overturning the result of an election. I think this is very, very worrying.

"If he's done something wrong have him arrested. Put him on trial. I hope Lutfur will appeal because in all my dealings with him I've never seen anything dodgy."

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