Posts Tagged ‘Tower Hamlets mayor’

Livingstone to push for Lutfur Rahman’s readmission to Labour

09/11/2010, 01:15:04 PM

Labour disciplinary problems come not in single spies, but in battalions. As Woolasgate rages, Uncut understands that the NEC meeting on 30 November will see Ken Livingstone stage an audacious bid to get Lutfur Rahman reinstated to the party.

According to Labour officials, Ken has already discussed the issue directly with Ed Miliband, talks which a Livingstone insider described as “positive”.

Rahman, who defeated official Labour candidate Helal Abbas in last month’s election to become directly elected mayor of Tower Hamlets, has asked Livingstone to broker his return to the Labour fold.

Sources close to Tower Hamlets Labour party confirmed that discussions have taken place between Rahman and Livingstone about his bid for re-inclusion, and that Rahman had decided to delay appointing a full cabinet in the borough until his status in the party had been confirmed. In contrast to the Livingstone camp, they believe that Ed Miliband will not endorse a return for Rahman, and that Livingstone does not enjoy sufficient NEC support to secure his readmission otherwise.

The decision to push for Rahman’s inclusion will create serious tensions within the local party. Local MP Jim Fitzpatrick has made his own submission to the NEC calling for disciplinary action against Ken’s public show of support for Rahman during the campaign.

Sources close to Ed Miliband have indicated that such action is unlikely.

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The lessons from Tower Hamlets, by Jessica Asato

22/10/2010, 02:00:27 PM

Were you out campaigning in Tower Hamlets yesterday?

I thought not. You’re not alone; lots of Labour campaign stalwarts stayed away. They took one look at the situation and thought that their precious holiday could be saved for a more deserving campaign.

Even without knowing the complex saga of Tower Hamlets politics, trying to elect an imposed candidate who came third in a party selection seemed like electoral suicide. It was. Despite a valiant ground campaign which I witnessed yesterday, our candidate Helal Abbas was beaten solidly by Lutfur Rahman on 51% of first preferences. I can’t remember the last election day in which I felt so outnumbered by the sheer presence of opposition campaigners. Rahman’s supporters drove round in cars plastered with his literature and quite happily flouted electoral rules by crowding round the entrance to polling stations with leaflets. The few of us who did make it there were stretched thin. It won’t count as one of my happier campaigning experiences. (more…)

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