Lutfur Rahman has been removed from office after being found guilty of electoral fraud.
There is no doubt that his tenure has had a negative impact on Tower Hamlets. He was only recently in the public eye due to his, and the council's, unreasonable behaviour towards Rich Mix, demanding repayment of £850,000 in one go.
This popular arts center, which supported over 140 artists in the last year, half of which are from Tower Hamlets, is now facing closure as a result. It's difficult to put a figure on the devastating effect this would have on the Bethnal Green community. Over 10,000 people have signed a petition to save it, with thousands of messages of support accompanying the signatures.
Here's hoping that whoever is elected in June takes greater care of its residents, and supports rather than hinders fantastic organizations like Rich Mix.
But nothing can replicate the tone with which he read his executive summary this morning. The full ruling is here: Richard Mawrey QC’s ruling on Tower Hamlets election court. I particularly like paras 201 and 421. In short, Lutfur Rahman lost on seven of nine counts. He has been removed from office and is barred from standing in the re-run for Mayor, which is likely on June 11. He faces costs of at least £250,000. His agent, Cllr Alibor Choudhury, as also been removed from office.