John Biggs, Labour’s candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets in the 2014 election, today said:
“This ruling is a victory for honest politics. By setting out to break the rules and going to extraordinary lengths to win last May's Mayoral election, Lutfur Rahman and his allies, robbed the people of Tower Hamlets of the free and fair election they deserved and betrayed everyone in our community who trusted and voted for him.
“People from across our community have been badly let down by the Mayor. After five years of abuse of public funds and public trust, it's time that residents have a council that is again on their side, that faith in free and fair elections is restored and divisions in our community are healed.
"I have spent thirty years standing up for the people of the East End of London and throughout my career I have challenged racism and intolerance wherever I have encountered it and that will not change.
“I am therefore relieved that serious but false allegations made against me have been dismissed by the Election Commissioner and I have been completely exonerated.
“These allegations were deliberately made, in order to polarise opinion and influence the result of last May’s Mayoral election in Tower Hamlets.
“The Mayoral election will now be rerun. It will be an opportunity for all the people of our borough to vote to reject once and for all, the kind of corrupt politics, that the petitioners, this Election Court, and the Commissioner’s judgement has exposed.
“For too long our borough has been dragged down by the unseemly conduct of Lutfur Rahman’s administration. Enough is enough, it’s time to get democracy and accountability back in Tower Hamlets."
Cllr Rachael Saunders Leader of Tower Hamlets Labour Group said:
“A judge has decided that the people of Tower Hamlets were denied a free and fair election in May 2014 and has ordered a new election.
“For as long as Lutfur Rahman has held power Tower Hamlets has been held back by division and patronage. The east end is home to people from the four corners of the globe, and we are proud of our vibrant campaigning traditions.
“That heritage has been damaged by Lutfur Rahman and this is a source of huge shame.
“Tower Hamlets Labour Group will do all we can to make this election an opportunity for the people of Tower Hamlets to move forward into a shared future.”