Archive for August, 2013

Press Release                                             
From the Office of the Mayor of Tower Hamlets

For immediate release – 30 Aug. 2013

Tower Hamlets Mayor prepares legal challenge over failure to ban EDL

Demands urgent meeting with Home Secretary, Commissioner and local MPs

The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, announced today that the council is preparing for a judicial review of the Metropolitan Police’s failure to exercise its power to apply to the Home Secretary for prohibition of the proposed racist march by the English Defence League (EDL) in Tower Hamlets on 7 September.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman said:

“I have been proud of the united response of the community in response to this grave threat of violence and disorder on our streets.

“We will not tolerate racist carpet-baggers being bussed in to stir up divisions in our diverse community.

“I’m deeply disappointed that the police and the Home Secretary have failed to act, despite my formally requesting them to do so. Clearly they are not on the same page as the scores of prominent national and local figures who joined me in calling for a ban.

“I call upon them to see sense, but in the absence of an adequate response I intend to take this matter to the High Court.”

A pre-action letter was issued by the council today, indicating that Judicial Review of the Metropolitan Police’s decision will be sought in the High Court unless the Metropolitan Police Commissioner applies without delay to the Home Secretary for a prohibiting order under section 13 the Public Order Act 1986.

The Mayor has also demanded an urgent meeting with the Home Secretary and the Commissioner on Monday, to include the local MPs Jim Fitzpatrick and Rushanara Ali and London Assembly member John Biggs.

Mayor Rahman has written to the MPs, urging them to join his demand for an urgent meeting to push for a ban.

Mayor Rahman concluded, “We need to get around the table and sort this out. Otherwise, lives and livelihoods, as well as our community cohesion, are at stake.”



Read Full Post »

Consternation in the East End, where local worthies calling on Home Secretary Theresa May to ban a planned march by the English Defence League on September 7 have discovered that the  Labour Party’s Tower Hamlets branch won’t join any protest — they’re having a “family barbecue” on the same day. Says one seasoned comrade: “George Lansbury and other great political figures from yesteryear in the East End must be turning in their graves. Never mind the International Brigade, here comes the barbie brigade!”


See also ‘Labour slammed for BBQ plan on day of EDL’s Tower Hamlets march’ 


Read Full Post »

Over-achieving pupils in Tower Hamlets have bucked the national trend by posting improved GCSE results for yet another year…Preliminary results from across the borough show a rise of almost three per cent in the number of candidates gaining five GCSEs – including English and maths – at grade C or above. The proportion of pupils making the grade hit an all-time high of 64.8 per cent – up from 61.9 per cent last year.


Read Full Post »





Mayor Lutfur Rahman has condemned the far Right English Defence League for attempting to get permission to use Altab Ali Park following their planned march through the borough on September 7th. He has already written to the Home Secretary and local police chiefs calling for a ban on the march.

Mayor Rahman said; “This was a deeply provocative and gratuitous attempt by the EDL to use a park named after a young garment worker who was murdered by racist thugs in 1978.   I am delighted that Tower Hamlets Council officers have refused permission for our park and the name of Altab Ali to be abused in this way. I am today redoubling my efforts to make sure that the Home Secretary stops the racist EDL from marching though our borough on September 7th.”

Glyn Robbins of United East End said; ‘Our unity is stronger than ever.  The EDL is not welcome here.  The people of Tower Hamlets will stand shoulder to shoulder to defend our community against those who seek to divide us.’

An unprecedented number of national and local figures have joined with Mayor Lutfur Rahman in calling upon the Home Secretary to ban a proposed march in Tower Hamlets being organised by the English Defence League and being planned for September 7th.

The Mayor has been joined by the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, former Cabinet Minister, Clare Short and the Chairman of the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee, Keith Vaz as well as leaders of Britain’s trade unions, faith group leaders and local community and campaigning groups in the biggest protest directed at the EDL.

They have also written an open letter to the Guardian newspaper, published Friday, declaring;

‘The EDL intend to bring a message of hate to our borough. They seek to exploit the shocking murder of Drummer Lee Rigby for their own destructive ends. Their target is the largest mosque in the country.

On previous protests, the EDL have abused worshippers and threatened to destroy mosques. Their protests invariably result in violence against local communities, property and the police.

In light of the recent street disturbances in Birmingham as a result of an EDL visit, we have real fears that the EDL presence will act as a catalyst for further violence, disorder and destruction of property.

We oppose anyone who would wish to incite hatred against others because of their religious belief, ethnic origin or sexual orientation. We will continue to work together to peacefully demonstrate that Tower Hamlets is ‘No Place for Hate’.

The Home Secretary must act, and act now, to ensure that the EDL is not able to continue with its tour of hate through the streets of East London on September 7th’.

The call for action has come from Mayor Lutfur Rahman and is supported by the following;

Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London

Len McCluskey General Secretary, Unite the Union

Rt Hon Clare Short

Billy Hayes, General Secretary Communication Workers Union

Jim Fitzpatrick MP

John Cryer MP

Grahame Morris MP

Jeremy Corbyn MP

Christine Shawcroft, Labour Party NEC

Maulana Shams-ul Haq, Chair, Council of Mosques Tower Hamlets

Rev preb. Alan Green, rector St John on Bethnal Green

Leon Silver, Nelson Street Synagogue

Max Levitas, veteran; Battle of Cable Street

Sajjad Miah, Acting President, Brick Lane Mosque

George Iacobescu, Canary Wharf Group

Salma Yaqoob

Giles Fraser

Neil Jaminson, London Citizens

Dilowar Khan, Executive Director, London Muslim Centre

James Grayson, Chair Tower Hamlets Co-operative Party

Jan McHarry, London Buddhist Centre

Phil Sedler, Chair Tower Hamlets Federation of Tenants & Residents Associations

Jenny Fisher, Secretary Tower Hamlets Federation of Tenants & Residents Associations

Jack Gilbert, Rainbow Hamlets

Len Aldis, Tower Hamlets CND

Guy Harper, Organiser, Tower Hamlets Left Unity

David Rosenberg Jewish Socialist Group

Julia Hunt, Secretary, Stepney Historical Trust

Steve Hart, Chair, Unite Against Fascism

Sabby Dhalu, Joint Secretary, Unite Against Fascism

Pasha Khandaker

President, Bangladesh Caterers Association (BCA)

Mukim Ahmed

Chair, British Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce (BBCC)

Dr Hasanat M Hussain, MBE

Leader, Voice for Justice World Forum

KM Abu Taher Choudhury

Secretary, Voice for Justice

Barrister Ataur Rahman

Chair, Greater Sylhet Council (GSC)

Islam Uddin

President, SoyttenSen School for Preforming Arts & UDICHI( Cultural Group)

Aziz Choudhury

Chair, Spitalfield Small Business Association (SSBA)

Shiraj Haque

Dilu Naser

General Secretary, Sommilito Sanskritik Parishad (Cultural collection)

Sirajul Basith Choudhury

General Secretary, Bangledeshi Teachers Association UK

Tower Hamlets interfaith Forum

East London Mosque

United East End

Searchlight Magazine

Trade union Friends of Searchlight

Islamic Forum of Europe

Redbridge and Epping Forest Together

For further information, please contact;

Mark Seddon


07918 759780

Read Full Post »

We, the undersigned call on the home secretary, Theresa May, to ban the English Defence League‘s proposed march in Tower Hamlets on 7 September. The EDL intends to bring a message of hate to our borough. It seeks to exploit the shocking murder of Drummer Lee Rigby for its own destructive ends. Its target is the largest mosque in the country.


Read Full Post »

Alan Bennett, the award-winning playwright and author of The History Boys, has endorsed a London borough’s bid to introduce a policy for hard-pressed local young people that has echoes of the old university grant system – while laying into the coalition’s student policy.


Read Full Post »

Tower Hamlets Council is backing campaigns which call for Parliament to have a free vote on standardised packaging of cigarettes and other tobacco product after the Government decided it will not introduce legislation to enforce it.

Council research shows that in Tower Hamlets two thirds of smokers start as teenagers. The earlier people start smoking, the longer they smoke and therefore it is harder to give up. In the UK, more than 200,000 people under the age of 16 start to smoke every year.


Read Full Post »

Barts crisis is down to PFI

I have been extremely concerned to learn that Barts NHS Trust has been put under special financial measures as a result of the severe financial challenges it now faces. Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group believes the crisis owes much to the short-sighted Private Finance Initiative of the last Labour Government and the massive cuts dressed up as “efficiency savings” courtesy of the Conservative-led coalition. As the creator of the NHS, Labour should be defending it ferociously. Instead they have decided to waste a lot of time talking to themselves about their relations with the unions.


Read Full Post »

A letter calling for the home secretary to ban far right group the English Defence League from marching through Tower Hamlets has been circulated to trade unions, faith and community groups. The borough’s mayor, Lutfur Rahman, is calling on interested parties to sign the letter to Theresa May to stop the EDL from going ahead with a planned demonstration on September 7. Mr Rahman expressed fears that the group intends to bring a “message of hate” to Tower Hamlets in the wake of the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich in May.


Read Full Post »