London

Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman 'knows he has a lot to lose'

Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets Image copyright AFP
Image caption Lutfur Rahman said there was "little, if any" evidence against him

An east London mayor facing electoral fraud allegations has told a special High Court he "knows he has a lot to lose".

Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman has been taken to Election Court by local voters to try to declare his 2014 election win void.

Mr Rahman, who denies any wrongdoing, told the hearing he was "not a liar and a fraudster".

He said: "I know very well I have a lot to lose professionally and personally,"

"I wanted people to support me on my track record, on my decency, on my character," he added.

"I work very hard and I have a lot to lose."

'Filibustering'

Earlier, Mr Rahman was accused of "filibustering" by prosecution lawyers.

Prosecuting barrister Richard Hoar accused Mr Rahman of wasting court time by not giving direct answers.

But he denied the allegations and said he was "answering questions".

The comments came as Mr Hoar was told his cross-examination must conclude imminently by Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey, sitting as judge.

Mr Mawrey said he was imposing a "guillotine" on Mr Hoar as the case was moving forward too slowly.

But Mr Hoar told the mayor: "If you are constantly going to filibuster like this, then I will ask for more time."

The case, currently in its fourth day, has seen Mr Rahman accused of repeatedly lying, overpaying advisers, being involved with "abusive" propaganda about his predecessor and dominating local media.

Other allegations include "personation" in postal voting and at polling stations, and ballot paper tampering.

But the mayor said there was "little, if any" evidence against him.

The four voters mounted a legal challenge under the provisions of the Representation Of The People Act.

The hearing continues.

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