Lutfur Rahman elected Mayor of Tower Hamlets after scandal

Lutfur Rahman has made another bid for the mayoralty in Tower Hamlets. Credit: PA Images

Controversial former mayor Lutfur Rahman has been successful in his bid to become mayor of Tower Hamlets once again.

He won 40,804 votes, defeating incumbent John Biggs of Labour (33,487).

Mr Rahman was forced to step down after an election court found him guilty of corrupt and illegal practices. He has faced no criminal prosecution.

He stood for the Tower Hamlets mayoralty again in the 2022 local elections, on the Aspire party ticket.

He staged his latest campaign on issues including the cost of living crisis, social housing availability, and public services cuts in the London borough.

His bid comes after the public voted to keep the Tower Hamlets mayoralty in last year's local referendum, which polled residents on whether to drop the directly-elected position.

Speaking after the result, Mr Rahman urged people to “judge me on what we will do for you”.

"I want to rebuild Tower Hamlets, I want to invest in our future, and give our people a better future than we had in the last seven years,” he said.

"Judge me and my administration on our record, what we’ve delivered in the first term.

"The only borough in the country to have free homecare. We delivered the London living wage - the first in London - we delivered the university bursary, educational maintenance allowance.

"Our promises going forward are even more progressive. Judge me on what we will do for you."

He also suggested that one of his first acts would be to scrap low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs), which limit traffic in residential areas.

Mr Rahman said: “Our roads have been closed, blocked up. It’s contributing to more CO2 in the borough when the idea was to reduce it.

“We’re going to look at our roads, we’re going to consult and reopen our roads.”

Who is Lutfur Rahman?

The former mayor of the east London borough was forced to step down in 2015 after an Election Court found him guilty of a litany of corrupt and illegal practices.

Four voters, led by Andy Erlam, took legal action against Mr Rahman, then the directly-elected mayor of Tower Hamlets.

Mr Rahman was convicted of wrongdoing by Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey in April 2015, after an Election Court trial in London.

Mr Mawrey found Mr Rahman, a former Labour councillor who had stood for mayor on an independent ticket, guilty of corrupt and illegal practices and barred him from running for office for five years.

He also said Mr Rahman should pay the four voters’ legal costs, estimated to be £500,000.

Mr Rahman subsequently declared himself bankrupt.

In 2018, the Met Police said its £1.7 million, year-long investigation had not identified sufficient additional evidence or investigative opportunities to enable it to request a prosecution.

Changes to how police officers are trained and deployed during elections and how criminal investigations into election fraud are conducted came as a result of the inquiry.