"Rahman was no doubt behind illegal and corrupt practices."
Lutfur Rahman has been elected Tower Hamlets Mayor after a five-year ban.
After the five-year ban lapsed, Rahman beat Labour incumbent John Biggs in the second round by 40,804 votes to 33,487.
The result is a blow to Labour in what was otherwise a very successful set of results in London, where it took Wandsworth, Barnet and Westminster from the Tories.
In 2015, Rahman was kicked out of office after a specialist court concluded that he was guilty of vote-rigging, buying votes and religious intimidation.
But the police concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him.
The Met said it “had not identified sufficient additional evidence or investigative opportunities to enable the Met to request the Crown Prosecution Service to consider the charging of any individual in relation to offences of electoral fraud and malpractice arising from the 2014 mayoral election”.
In February 2022, Lutfur Rahman announced that he was planning a political comeback.
In an election leaflet, he wrote:
“I have never, ever acted dishonestly, but to those who think I didn’t exercise enough oversight over campaigners in the last election, I apologise.”
Rahman was originally a Labour leader of Tower Hamlets council from 2008 to 2010.
In 2010, he ran for mayor independently.
He won re-election in 2014 under a new party called Tower Hamlets First, but was removed from office in April 2015, when he was found guilty in the civil election court, rather than in criminal law.
At the time, election commissioner Richard Mawrey said Rahman had “driven a coach and horses through election law and didn’t care”.
He ordered Rahman to pay £250,000 in costs.
Rahman and his supporters were found to have used religious intimidation through local imams, vote-rigging and wrongly branding his Labour rival a racist to gain power.
At the time, Mawrey said Rahman had sought to play the “race and Islamophobia card” throughout the election.
He added: “He was an evasive witness – Rahman was no doubt behind illegal and corrupt practices.”
Following his victory, Rahman urged people to “judge me on what we will do for you”.
He said: “I want to rebuild Tower Hamlets, I want to invest in our future, and give our people a better future than we had in the last seven years.
“Judge me and my administration on our record, what we’ve delivered in the first term.”
“The only borough in the country to have free home care.
“We delivered the London living wage – the first in London.
“We delivered the university bursary and educational maintenance allowance.
“Our promises going forward are even more progressive. Judge me on what we will do for you.”