Friday, July 15, 2011

Leicester Labour lavishes praise on Lutfur Rahman

At the end of June I mentioned Andrew Gilligan's accusation that staff from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets had canvassed for Labour in Leicester in their work time.

I have not learned anything further about the truth of otherwise of that, but David Maclean at the Leicester Mercury has turned up footage of Lutfur Rahman, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, and his party being thanked afterwards by leading figures in the Labour Party in Leicester. It's so dull that I am not inflicting it on you, but you can see it if you can follow the link to David's blog. The Labour bigwigs who feature include Keith Vaz, Sir Peter Soulsby and Jon Ashworth.

[Later. David's blog has disappeared, taking the video with it, but you can a contemporary TV news report of the event elsewhere on this blog.]

What is remarkable about the occasion is that Rahman is not a member of the Labour Party. More than that, as Maclean points out, he was removed as Labour's candidate for mayor of his borough on 21 September with the following statement:
Having received a number of serious allegations concerning both the eligibility of participating voters and the conduct of Lutfur Rahman, the NEC has decided to investigate the allegations made. 
As a result, administrative action has been taken to remove Lutfur Rahman as a candidate pending the investigation. Nominations for Tower Hamlets mayor close this week and in the circumstances the NEC had no option but to impose another candidate.
After being dropped by Labour Rahman stood as an independent against the Labour candidate and won the election. You might think that would make him unpopular in Labour circles, but they don't seem to mind in Leicester.

Thanks to the reader who drew this to my attention - and for the observation that there is only one woman present and she leaves with Ashworth after 30 seconds.

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