Lutfur Rahman was “more Labour than many in Labour”. He was a “democratic success story” whose opponents were engaged in an “Islamophobic campaign of lies”.
I challenge you to come up with a selection of sillier statements about the soon-to-be-former-Mayor of Tower Hamlets.
An election court today found that Rahman had “driven a coach and horses” through local authority law and “engaged in corrupt and illegal practices” to win elections. According to the Court, which ruled on a case brought against the Mayor for ballot-rigging, intimidation and racism in the electoral campaign of 2014, rather than being a “democratic success story”, Rahman trashed the electoral process in a “ruthless and dishonest manner”. To make matters worse the Mayor silenced critics using spurious accusations of Islamophobia and racism.
Those of us who have lived in Lutfur Rahman’s Tower Hamlets in recent years had a fair idea that something wasn’t right. An atmosphere of menace and intimidation prevailed at council meetings and a cult of personality was thrown up around Rahman himself, with posters carrying the Mayor’s face (and little else) increasingly ubiquitous in the borough. Extremist preachers were invited to speak in council chambers and council grants were directed away from secular organisations in favour of groups which mainly served the Bangladeshi and Muslim communities…