I was campaigning with Neil King over in Tower Hamlets on Wednesday, unfortunately the hard work that he and many others put in didn’t result in a win for him in the mayoral election.
The concerns that have been expressed about the winner, and new mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman have been very concerning and I have little doubt that Andrew Gilligan is right in his assessment that the next few years will be “a slow motion car crash“.
The people who will suffer most are the residents and businesses of Tower Hamlets and as harsh as this may sound the Government must resist the temptation to step in. Too often voters in local government elections disassociate their vote from the actions of the council they go on to elect. How did the voters of Haringey punish a council who allowed their social services department to implode resulting in the deaths of Victoria Climbie and of Baby Peter? By returning the same clueless Labour administration. Voters need to understand that their vote matters and localism will be meaningless if it only means localism in good times.
This is also the worst possible news for the London Labour party. How can they still support a London Mayoral candidate who campaigned against the local Labour candidate. Ken Livingstone’s support will have gone a long way to securing Rahman’s win, are Labour just going to ignore that fact?