Lutfur Rahman wins Tower Hamlets mayoral election

Lutfur Rahman
Image caption Lutfur Rahman said he wanted to be judged on his record

Tower Hamlets Bangladeshi mayor Lutfur Rahman has been re-elected, greeted by about 2,000 supporters.

The former Labour leader of Tower Hamlets, standing independently for Tower Hamlets First, received 43.38% of first preference votes.

He addressed supporters outside Troxy theatre in Stepney, east London, after the result at about 02:00 BST.

He said an investigation ordered by the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles had been "politically motivated".

Mr Pickles appointed inspectors to look into allegations of governance failure, poor financial management and fraud following a report by the BBC's Panorama which found Mr Rahman had more than doubled funding recommended by officers for Bengali-run charities.

Inspectors have until 30 June to report their findings.

Image caption Supporters cheered inside the Ritzy theatre where the mayoral result was announced
Image caption Reporter Anna Cookson said Tower Hamlets council estimated the crowd reached about 2,000 people.
Image caption Mr Rahman greeted people outside the theatre and thanked them for their support

In the mayoral election, Labour candidate John Biggs received 32.82% of first preference votes.

Mr Rahman said: "The people of this borough have spoken again.

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Media captionLutfur Rahman greeted by supporters in Stepney

"I want to thank the thousands of people who have been outside in the rain for six or seven hours waiting for a result.

"All we want is an equal playing field. To see obstacles being placed in my way unfairly, I find that quite difficult to accept."

He added: "Judge me on my record. Judge me on what we have done for the people of this borough.

"The only borough in the land who has delivered an educational maintenance allowance. The only borough in the land who has delivered a university grant of £1500 for our students going to university."

He also pointed to his elderly homecare policies and free primary school meals coming in in September.

Meanwhile, the council election count has been suspended. A spokesman said it will resume at 14:00 BST on Sunday when six wards will be recounted.

Lutfur Rahman (Independent) elected
Second round
Candidate Party Final total % Status
Lutfur Rahman Independent 37,395 52.3 Elected
John Biggs Labour 34,143 47.7
First round
Candidate Party 1st pref % 2nd pref
Lutfur Rahman Independent 36,539 43.4 856
John Biggs Labour 27,643 32.8 6,500
Christopher Wilford Conservative 7,173 8.5
Nicholas McQueen UKIP 4,819 5.7
Chris Smith Green 4,699 5.6
Reetendra Banerji Liberal Democrat 1,969 2.3
Hugo Pierre Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 871 1
Reza Choudhury Independent 205 0.2
Mohammed Khan Independent 164 0.2
Hafiz Kadir Independent 162 0.2

Turnout: 84,234 (45.9%)

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