London

Lutfur Rahman: Corrupt ex-mayor fails to appeal banning order

Lutfur Rahman Image copyright JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Lutfur Rahman was found guilty of corrupt and illegal practices at an Election Court in April 2015

A former mayor has failed in his bid to over-turn a five-year order banning him from running for office.

Lutfur Rahman, the ex-Mayor of Tower Hamlets, was found guilty of corrupt and illegal practices at an Election Court in April.

Findings included money being given to Bangladeshi or Muslim groups in return for support.

At the High Court two judges declined his application to appeal against the length of the order.

Lord Justice Lloyd and Mr Justice Supperstone did, however, agree he could launch a judicial review relating to the way religious leaders had been persuaded to use influence on voters.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Petitioners Andy Erlam, Angela Moffat and Azmal Hussein accused Lutfur Rahman of electoral fraud

But, they said, even if he succeeded in overturning that, his five-year ban would remain.

A group of four voters took legal action against Mr Rahman in 2015 over a series of allegations of election fraud including ballot paper tampering.

Mr Rahman maintained there was "little, if any" evidence of wrongdoing against him and wanted to challenge rulings Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey had made during the trial.

Some of Mr Mawrey's findings included the use of council money to pay a Bangladeshi language television station which provided supportive coverage.

'Alarming state of affairs'

He concluded evidence at the trial had revealed an "alarming state of affairs" and voided the 2014 mayoral election.

Labour's John Biggs went on to win a new election last June.

Mr Rahman did not comment after the hearing.

One of the four complainants, Azmal Hussain, said: "He's lost. The big point was the corruption. He didn't win on that. We've won again."

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