Delayed election leaves Tower Hamlets hung


Labour and Conservatives have shared the spoils of a delayed election in Tower Hamlets LBC.

A by-election was held for three seats in the Blackwall and Cubitt Town ward after the death of a candidate just before May’s local elections.

Labour took two seats and the Tories one. This leaves Labour with 22 seats in all and the Tories five, against 18 for Tower Hamlets First, the party formed by supporters of elected mayor Lutfur Rahman.

No local reports of disorder have followed the by-election, unlike the case in May, where allegations of fraud, obstruction in polling stations and the presence of unauthorised people at the count have been made.

The Election Commission reported earlier this week on the conduct of that count with recommendations for changes, and is due to report on the other allegations.

Tower Hamlets is also embroiled in a legal battle with communities secretary Eric Pickles, who sent in inspectorsfrom accountancy firm PwC in April.

They are due to report later this month but the council has launched a judicial review over PwC’s appointment.

A group of local voters has also launched an election petition at the High Court seeking to have Mr Rahman’s election declared void.

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