Disgraced ex-mayor of Tower Hamlets loses latest appeal against five-year ban


The former Tower Hamlets mayor who was barred from running for office for corrupt and illegal practices has lost the latest stage of his appeal bid.

High Court judges dismissed Lutfur Rahman’s application to block his five-year ban after voters took legal action against him more than two years ago.

Lord Justice Lloyd Jones and Mr Justice Supperstone on Thursday dismissed the bid after the legal battle that began in 2015.

Lawyers representing Mr Rahman said the new application was made in the wake of a decision not to prosecute due to “insufficient evidence”.

The lawyers suggested it would be wrong to allow some of Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey’s findings to stand in the light of that decision not to bring criminal charges. 

In 2015, a group of four voters took legal action against Mr Rahman, under the provisions of the Representation of The People Act, but Mr Rahman said there was “little, if any” evidence of wrongdoing against him.

Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey made a series of findings against Mr Rahman in April 2015 following an Election Court trial in London.

Mr Rahman originally mounted an appeal against rulings made by Mr Mawrey in July 2015.

He asked Lord Justice Lloyd Jones and Mr Justice Supperstone to give the go ahead for a judicial review.

They gave him permission to challenge one of Mr Mawrey’s findings – relating to the way religious leaders had been persuaded to use influence on voters.

But they said the law meant that, even if he succeeded in overturning that one aspect of the ruling at a final judicial review hearing, his five-year ban would remain.

In his latest appeal bid Mr Rahman asked judges to allow him to make a wider challenge. But Lord Justice Lloyd Jones and Mr Justice Supperstone refused.

Lawyers suggested it would be wrong to allow some of Mr Mawrey’s findings to stand in the light of that decision not to bring criminal charges. 

The four voters made a series of allegations, including “personation” in postal voting and at polling stations, and ballot paper tampering at the Election Court trial.

Mr Mawrey said evidence aired at the Election Court trial had revealed an “alarming state of affairs” in Tower Hamlets. He said his ruling meant the 2014 Tower Hamlets mayoral election was void.

The election was re-run and won by Labour’s John Biggs.

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Source : http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/disgraced-exmayor-of-tower-hamlets-loses-latest-appeal-against-fiveyear-ban-a3571516.html

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