Tonight a rally will be held in Tower Hamlets in support of mayor Lutfur Rahman, who’s been accused of engaging in ‘cronyism and corruption‘, following an inquiry by PwC commissioned by Eric Pickles.
Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, member of the National Executive Committee and former councillor in Tower Hamlets Christine Shawcroft and Labour councillor Aaron Kiely are all reported to be going to the rally in support of Rahman.
This has caused some discontent within the Labour Party – particularly as it’s rumoured George Galloway MP will also be attending. MP for Bethnal Green and Bow Rushanara Ali has criticised Livingstone saying:
“It’s disappointing that Ken Livingstone is doing what he is doing. We don’t need these forces of division coming into our borough.”
While Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, said:
“It is a very difficult situation. To say it is not helpful is probably an understatement.”
However, Livingstone defended his decision explaining:
“He [Rahman] is the subject of an Islamophobic campaign of lies. I have always stood up for people who are victimised.”
This isn’t the first time that Livingstone has defended Rahman, and the former Mayor of London has made little secret of his desire to see Rahman back in the Labour Party.