Labour candidate elected mayor of Tower Hamlets

12 Jun 15

Labour’s John Biggs has won the mayoralty of Tower Hamlets, which became vacant after former mayor Lutfur Rahman was found guilty of electoral fraud and removed from office.

Biggs won the post in Thursday’s by-election after second preference votes were counted in the poll. He beat Rabina Khan, a former member of Rahman’s Tower Hamlets First party, who stood as an independent. This followed the decision by the Electoral Commission to remove Tower Hamlets First from the register of political parties after the findings against Rahman by an election commissioner, which included making false statements against Biggs and ‘treating’ voters.

Biggs will serve until May 2018, and will formally take up the post on 15 June.

In his acceptance speech, Biggs said his top priority would include uniting the community, facing the budget challenges ahead and focusing on improving employment opportunities.

The government sent commissioners into Tower Hamlets in December following concerns that the council was failing to meet its Best Value duties. The team of three, headed by former chief fire and rescue adviser for England Sir Ken Knight, was given responsibility for all grant and contract decisions, and electoral administration, and was expanded to five following the ruling against Rahman.

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