Labour have today hit back at false claims that its councillors voted against new powers to license sex clubs in the borough. In an incendiary press release Rahman’s supporters alleged Labour had blocked the new powers despite Council voting unanimously last week to adopt them.
Throughout the process of scrutinising the application of the new powers councillors from multiple parties had requested information from officers, including on one occasion in October last year where members voted to ask officers for further information following legal threats from barristers acting for a number of local strip clubs.
Not only have Labour totally disproved the Tower Hamlets First allegations, they have accused the Mayor’s supporters of playing into the hands of those who wish to stop the strengthened licensing of strip clubs.
The Council has received numerous legal threats from barristers acting for the strip clubs leading the to unique situation that the Speaker of the Council allowed them to present at last week’s Council meeting. Labour argue that their robust scrutiny of the plans has saved the Council from costly legal battles but that this has now been put at risk by Rahman’s shameless politicisation of an issue which all councillors agree on.
Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Sirajul Islam, said:
“This is really disappointing from Lutfur Rahman’s supporters. Last week the Council voted unanimously to adopt the new powers to license strip clubs in the borough. To say otherwise is an absolute lie.
“Labour councillors have upheld the highest standards to protect the council from legal challenge but this kind of baseless political mud-slinging is wrong, divisive and above all dangerous. It risks giving more ammunition to the strip club lawyers who want to see these powers scrapped.”