Tag Archives: Lutfur Rahman

You need wheels

4 Feb

Sir Robin's new wheels

When Lutfur Rahman was swanking around Tower Hamlets in a chauffeur-driven Mercedes Benz, Sir Robin took great satisfaction in pointing out that he drove his own car – a used Toyota.

But judging by the car currently sat on the mayoral driveway, the Wales household has recently opted for a major upgrade.

A shiny new Range Rover may be a bit less ‘man of the people’ than his dusty old Toyota, but at least Sir Robin can arrive at the open selection meetings in comfort and style. I’m sure Labour members will be suitably impressed.

Hat-tip to the reader who spotted this and sent the photo

UPDATE 9/2/2018

A reader left a comment on Wednesday (see below) saying the car belongs to Sir Robin’s neighbour. Yesterday Alan Olive, a retired Labour Regional Director and Elections Officer living in Hemel Hempstead, reached out on Twitter to say the same thing. And the reader who sent the original tip-off confirms that, as of yesterday evening, the car is indeed parked next door.

Maybe these aren’t Sir Robin’s wheels. If anyone has anything more definitive, one way or the other, I’d be very grateful.

A walk on part in the war

24 Apr

Newham councillor Ken Clark (pictured above) enjoys a brief walk on part in the full judgement in the Lutfur Rahman case that was published yesterday.

It is an entertaining and eye-popping read all round. Councillor Clark first appears in paragraph 223:

In 2010 the question arose whether Tower Hamlets should have an elected Mayor. The Labour Party at national and regional level was not keen on a Mayor for Tower Hamlets and the Borough Labour Party was instructed by Mr Ken Clark, the Party’s regional director, to oppose the proposition. Mr Rahman, on the other hand was keen on an elected Mayor, considering himself (not unreasonably) as potentially fitted for that rôle. He therefore campaigned in support of the petition. Although there were widespread suspicions that some of the names supporting the petition were bogus, the petition reached the necessary level for a referendum to take place as to whether there should be an elected Mayor. Again the regional Party instructed the local Party to oppose the referendum and again Mr Rahman campaigned in its favour.

After five paragraphs about the determined efforts of the Labour party to keep Mr Rahman from becoming their mayoral candidate he briefly reappears:

The selection took place on 4 September 2010. A transferable-vote ballot was held among members of the Party in Tower Hamlets. The other candidates included Mr Biggs, Mr Helal Abbas and Mr Keith. Mr Rahman was successful and his candidature was announced by Mr Clark (clearly through gritted teeth). 

Of course, as we know, Lutfur Rahman was very quickly deselected by the national executive committee and went on to win the election as an independent.

It is no small irony that the same Ken Clark who instructed Tower Hamlets Labour party to oppose having an elected mayor in that borough is now right-hand man to the elected mayor of this borough. After his election as councillor for Manor Park ward last May he was immediately appointed to cabinet as lead member for ‘Building Communities, Public Affairs, Regeneration & Planning’. His job is ‘to be the eyes and ears of the council, sharing information and local intelligence.’

For some reason all this reminds me of Pink Floyd’s song Wish Your Were Here

And did you exchange

A walk on part in the war 

For a lead role in a cage?