Communal politics,  Lutfur Rahman

Lutfur Rahman, the Grand Pasha of East London

H/T Imran Khan

Tower Hamlets is a fiefdom unto itself. Over the years, this blog has run many articles on its autocratic ruler and his shady, illegal network of patronage. Somewhat like Hamza Yousaf and Sadiq Khan,  the mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman has what the youth call main character syndrome and sees himself as a larger player on a global stage than his position might warrant. He has had tea with the Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca and of course leads protest marches on Gaza. The fact that he was found guilty of electoral fraud (yes that thing that apparently never happens) and had been banned from standing for office for 5 years is an irrelevant detail. That he is a creature who was created (but broke loose and turned on) by Labour’s policy of pandering to the muslim vote is yet another irrelevant detail.

What should be a relevant detail that is that many hundreds of millions of pounds are under the control of this man, derived from  council tax and tax payers’ money. Rahman was re-elected to office in 2022 and there were rumours and allegations that he had  to pay off supporters and thus created non-posts on large salaries and other ways but did so in his usual “I’m bulletproof” way thinking himself safe in his Tower Hamlets fiefdom. These rumours must have some life in them because the government has now ordered a review of how Tower Hamlets is run and sent in the inspectors.

They have been asked to look at a range of issues including how money is spent and senior job appointments.

The mayor said he was disappointed but willing to co-operate.

The review will look at budgets and financial planning, the appointment of senior management posts, the use of policy advisers and the “policy and practice of grant-making.”

The former chief executive of a London borough, Kim Bromley-Derry, has been appointed to lead the inspection.

The inspectors have been instructed to report back by the end of May on “whether the standards expected for effective and convenient local government are being upheld.”

Department of Levelling up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) officials have become concerned by the “significant churn” of top officers at the council since Mr Rahman took over.

To be very clear, this blog is not making any allegations of wrongdoing, we are merely noting past histories and current entanglements.

Whether this will help Labour’s prospects at all in the constituency¹ is in doubt but it certainly cannot hurt. Tel Aviv Keith can break into a tiny smirk.


Update :

Added this X thread as it is an excellent way to catch up on Rahman’s games over the years. h/t Gray.



1. A recent survey on East London for a 10 year period from 2013 to 2023 has rated Tower Hamlets as the “sadddest” borough for its residents experiencing a sharp drop in the sense of well being. An interesting factoid brought to you by Imran. Maybe this can be used in Shamima Begum’s next appeal. She used to live in TH.