Labour outcast Lutfur Rahman wins mayoral election

A candidate for a mayoral election who was dumped by Labour then stood as an independent won the contest with more than half the vote early today.

Lutfur Rahman secured 51.76% of the vote in Tower Hamlets in east London.



The campaign sparked bitter local infighting for Labour.



Former council leader Mr Rahman was Labour's initial candidate, but when he was rebuffed by the party he announced he would stand as an independent with the backing of several Labour councillors.



Labour's contender for mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, then risked internal discipline by campaigning for Mr Rahman against the party's new candidate, Helal Abbas.



The row gave new hope to the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green would-be mayors in an area which has traditionally been solidly Labour.



Yesterday's poll was the first ever ballot for a directly elected mayor in Tower Hamlets, a borough which takes in not only the poor neighbourhoods of the East End, but also the glass-and-steel skyscrapers of the Docklands financial centre.



Mr Abbas launched a bitter attack on his erstwhile party colleague, accusing him of being "in the gutter".



"This is a sad night for those of us who want to build a better future and a united Tower Hamlets. Lutfur Rahman has won tonight but not as he wanted, as the Labour candidate," he said in a statement.



"Thankfully, Labour's ruling National Executive had the backbone to stop him from being the Labour candidate. We may have lost tonight, but at least the Labour Party has clean hands.



"I am proud that we fought a clean, decent campaign and refused to get in the gutter with the candidate backed by George Galloway and the so-called Respect Party.



"I promise to carry on working tirelessly as an elected councillor for the people of Tower Hamlets. And as the party with the largest number of councillors at Tower Hamlets Town Hall, Labour accepts our responsibility to work hard to hold the new Mayor to account and to stand up for all the communities of Tower Hamlets, not just one."



The result will further fuel calls for Mr Livingstone to be disciplined.



Earlier this week, the veteran politician called the deselection of Mr Rahman an "utterly unacceptable" move by Labour's ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) which "ignored the views of the local electorate".



He insisted however that he backed the official candidate and was simply trying to encourage voters to put the independent down as their second choice in an effort to keep out the Conservatives.



Turnout was 25.6%.

Votes were as follows:
Helal Uddin Abbas, Labour Party - 11,254
Alan Duffell, Green Party - 2,300
John David Macleod Griffiths, Liberal Democrats - 2,800
Neil Anthony King, Conservative Party - 5,348
Lutfur Rahman, Independent - 23,283.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
Extras
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
indybest

Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas