Fuckery,  Lutfur Rahman,  Utter Scumbags

Rotten Borough of Tower Hamlets

h/t Imran Khan


The current issue of Private Eye has returned to examining Tower Hamlets shenanigans in its latest issue under the Rotten Boroughs column. According to the East End Enquirer, this is a special honour for Tower Hamlets and its merry bunch of crooks er, misfits.

Only the most inept, dysfunctional and totally useless local authorities get to benefit from the Rotten Boroughs spotlight along with the most stupid, self-centred local politicians who think they run them, so it is praise indeed to see Tower Hamlets Council once more taking its rightful place as being, well, just rubbish. (Don’t mention the rubbish problems! Ed.)

The lap-dancing nightclub, Club Oops’ owner has alleged that a TH councillor approached him for a “substantial” bribe which was refused and consequently, the Whitechapel based club was refused a license and forced to close. The owner took the case to court and the upshot is that council has agreed to pay Mr Santosh Nair’s legal costs and damages after the venue was forced to close for 16 months and the local authority has also agreed to reinstate the club’s licence. There was a council “investigation” into this incident which has tarnished its reputation and the payout to the nighclub is likely to run into  hundreds of  thousands of pounds.


The council’s Standard’s Advisory Committee in December heard that there “was evidence of wrongdoing” but the internal investigation was “unable to proceed as there is a lack of evidence to link it to the councillor” concerned. It agreed “the matter should go to an independent investigator due to the seriousness of the allegation”.


There are complaints about the glacial pace of the independent investigation.


The  Private Eye article  titled “Local mayor Lutfur Rahman apparently did nothing about the allegation that one of his party councillors had sought a bribe in exchange for a club licence.” is not available online but the sustained Private Eye focus is warranted by some interesting details in it.


The most condemning detail, obtained by the Eye from court documents,  is that Lutfur Rahman was made aware of the bribe allegation many times but did nothing. That is unfathomable behaviour for anyone but Lutfur Rahman who seems to operate by a set of principles that are extremely on edge. This recent Prospect magazine profile of the man captures his I-dont-give-a-damn-for-your-rules personality.This profile is the most entertaining and revealing read into  chaotic and utterly corrupt Tower Hamlets politics and the man ruling from the heart of it.

This was not an easy interview to arrange. The mayor broadly distrusts media attention. Nevertheless, after multiple delays, we were finally granted 30 minutes with him in his office. (We’re using the word “office” charitably here. It’s more like a chapel. On one side is his giant £50,000 meeting table, on the other, beneath a big mullioned window, is what appears to be a throne.)


Rahman declaration of faith in himself and his god is the key : “I came into this world naked,” he says, “and I will leave it in a shroud… I’ve got nothing to lose.” He doesnt answer to the rest of the country, to white men’s laws. Of course the revelation that Corbyn’s most notorious lackeys have installed themselves at the heart of the Rahman/Aspire  gangland setup is unsurprising. Labour’s leadership seems aware of the problem and almost grateful for the defection of both british muslims and the hard left from Labour, if this quote in the Prospect article is to be believed : ..British Muslims have been leaving the Labour party—a phenomenon one senior Labour source reportedly referred to as the party “shaking off the fleas”. Given Prospect magazine’s bias, I wouldn’t take it at face value.

Back to the Private Eye article, the man (Abdul Ali, the previous owner of the club) from whom the bribes were solicited recorded the conversations (hence the speedy court judgement) and directly approached Lutfur Rahman whom he knew well to complain.

One text he sent to the mayor in November 2022 read: “Lutfur bhai [brother] you have five councillors involved and I don’t understand why you are not taking this seriously.”

The Met police does not come off well in this episode either. A Met police investigation was halted because of “a lack of evidence”.

Nair’s lawyers previously told the court: “The [Met’s] investigation was woefully inadequate and the decision to take no further action is incomprehensible.” They tell the Eye a complaint has been made to the Met.

The Eye ends by noting the hasty deparure last month of the  council’s director of legal and monitoring officer, Janet Fasan, who had handled the case. It wonders if she was a scapegoat and notes that the council refuses comment.