The current mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, has refused to go in front of borough residents to debate his vision for the area following an invitation from Labour's John Biggs to join him in a public debate ahead of the forthcoming election.
Lutfur Rahman has previously agreed to debate with Labour's candidate and current London Assembly Member for City and East, John Biggs, but has since remained silent on the issue. This week John Biggs wrote to Lutfur Rahman setting out a date and time but John has received no response.
The current mayor's refusal to participate in public debate comes on the back of heavy criticism that he is unaccountable to the majority of residents in our borough. Lutfur Rahman has repeatedly refused to speak in full council meetings leading to accusations of being the 'silent mayor'.
This evening at a meeting of the full council Cllr Josh Peck, former Leader of Tower Hamlets Labour Group, challenged Lutfur Rahman asking when John Biggs could expect a response to the debate invitation. Lutfur Rahman refused to answer.
John Biggs, Labour's candidate for mayor of the borough, said:
"It is important that the residents of Tower Hamlets get a chance to see their candidates for Mayor and judge their ideas and leadership qualities. There are a number of ways to do this but a public debate will allow searching questions to be explored."