Coffee House

Tower Hamlets — London’s rotten borough

26 May 2014

9:20 PM

26 May 2014

9:20 PM

What is going on in Tower Hamlets? Three days after the counting began, the borough has yet to return a complete set of results from Thursday’s elections. Counting for the Bromley South ward has been stopped for a second time today, resuming in the morning. Tower Hamlets Council explained in a statement ‘the result is looking very close in this ward and accuracy is of paramount concern’. Few would probably have noticed, were it not for Tower Hamlets holding up the rest of London announcing its results for the European elections.

While the rest of the country reported its results hours before, Tower Hamlets was delayed due to a new ‘local protocol’ introduced to address the Electoral Commission’s fraud concerns. A council spokesman said this evening:

‘This protocol produced the most stringent set of electoral measures in the capital, if not the country, to ensure that elections could be held in a transparent and fair manner. However this need for transparency has lengthened the time taken to count the vote and our view is that accuracy is more important than speed’


Is the explanation that simple? Not according to Peter Golds, a Conservative councillor in Tower Hamlets, who in a statement posted online, alleges there was odd behaviour during the count:

‘I was, for obvious reasons, at both omnishambles. We were asked to attend the Mile End Leisure centre at 2pm, Sunday for the council counts with the European count commencing at 4pm. We were let in at 3pm and then the chaos started.

‘Any checks on people attending soon collapsed, particularly when the Supreme Ruler, Mayor Lutfur, was instructing his fan club from across London to walk in and enjoy the panto.

‘However, ex Councillor Kabir Ahmed (Tower Hamlets First, Weavers ward) was barred from entering the count as he had revealed details of the first figures on his Facebook page. Presumably he stayed at home in Gants Hill, Redbridge.

‘There were arguments, threats, and chaos at the counting tables. Tower Hamlets First supporters were challenging vote after vote, forcing supporters of other candidates away from the tables. They often made their points ( excuse the pun) with pencils and pens, against ballot papers. The supreme ruler smiled, whilst checking town hall staff were not stopping his supporters from doing exactly what they wanted.

‘Former Cllr Mohammed Shahid Ali (defeated Mile End) was bawling in Bangla down a mobile phone at a counting table. He was asked by a (female) officer to stop and he shouted that she ( emphasise she) had no right to tell him to stop doing anything and that she (emphasise she) should go away. I drew this to the attention of the returning officer and Shahid Ali then needed to be restrained from attacking me.

‘Tower Hamlets has interesting rules on the media at counts. Mainstream journalists can only be on the counting floor if they are escorted by a member of the town hall staff at all times.

‘The special media, that supports the supreme ruler, is excluded from this, so , far example everywhere I went I was stalked by a weird old trot who kept taking flash photographs of me in my face and then grinning. He declined to say what organ he reported for.

‘He was not afraid of expressing his views as he shouted the short version of “see you next Tuesday”, during one of the declarations.

‘Despite everything we had been told, the count was a shocker. There was a 21% discrepancy in the votes in Island Gardens between the first two counts.

‘Issues regarding our count process that I raised as far back as 2009 were ignored and there was no change at all; despite the fine words of the electoral commission.

‘I will be writing to them on Tuesday, with more details and will make my letter public.’

I asked whether the council had any comment on this statement, but did not receive anything back. Councillor Golds may be disgruntled due to the reelection of Lutfur Rahman, the controversial directly-elected Mayor of Tower Hamlets. Golds is a long time critic of the mayor and although Labour gave Rahman a run for his money, he was reelected on second preference votes. At present, it appears no party will have overall control of the council — Rahman’s Tower Hamlets First party has 18 seats, as do Labour while the Tories have four.

The counting situation adds to the impression I received when visiting the area last month — the politics of Tower Hamlets are simply rather bizarre. The Electoral Commission warned ahead of these elections there was a ‘high risk’ of electoral fraud and placed police officers at every one of the borough’s 125  polling stations. With the continued delay, those who believe Tower Hamlets is a rotten borough may have their fears confirmed.

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Show comments
  • Jenny Smith

    Never let us old residents of Tower Hamlets say “we told you so” 15/20 years ago but… we dam well told ya so. We were shouted down and knew the powers that be would only listen when things encroached on their own doorstep. i’m glad i’m old and will never live see the total destruction of UK values. i pray my kids will be fine but also pray i never have grandchildren to live this nightmare. we need some of these so called do good multicultural politicians living here to see what chaos they have caused. really too much despair to care, just glad when im gone. bravo Westminster!!!

  • LarrySingleton

    Jihad Watch: Regarding UK jihadist heaping praise on Boco Haram. When are you going to officially call London “Londonistan”?

    “This is the Britain that Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron have made. Why has Mizanur Rahman’s sermon “sparked fresh outrage”? Why is anyone upset about it at all? After all, I was banned from Britain for saying that Islam “is a religion and is a belief system that mandates warfare against unbelievers for the purpose for establishing a societal model that is absolutely incompatible with Western society…” Yet just days after Pamela Geller and I were banned, the British government admitted Saudi Sheikh Mohammed al-Arefe. Al-Arefe has said: “Devotion to jihad for the sake of Allah, and the desire to shed blood, to smash skulls, and to sever limbs for the sake of Allah and in defense of His religion, is, undoubtedly, an honor for the believer. Allah said that if a man fights the infidels, the infidels will be unable to prepare to fight.” So clearly it is acceptable to say that Islam teaches violence and warfare if you’re in favor of that violence and warfare. So no one should be outraged at Mizanur Rahman. They should be giving him banquets and medals.”

    Also, A while back I watched a Sherlock Holmes. In this particular episode he goes to Washington to fight the Nazis. At the end of the movie he gives Watson a little speech about the special relationship between England and America. Today you have Islamists taking over not so “great” Britain because you’ve got a generation who is pissing on the man who saved you from the Nazis; Winston Churchill. And Britains were as big a bunch of idiots then as they are now unfortunately because the English heeded Churchill’s words and warnings about the Nazis almost too late. Just like they’re not seeing the Islamist threat today.

    The dirty little secret about Britain is how, after the war, they fell all over themselves to accommodate the Arabs during Israel’s independence. And this attitude is showing today in the appeasement when it comes to an element in England who hates and despises the English.

    “An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile hoping it will eat him last. Victory will never be found by taking the line of least resistance.” Winston Churchill

    “What the horn is to the rhinoceros, what the sting is to the wasp, the Mohammedan faith is to the Arabs of the Sudan-a faculty of offence. All the warlike operations of Mohammedan peoples are characterised by fanatacism” Winston Churchill

  • evad666

    This is exactly what Enoch Powell warned about.

  • allthosepowers

    Rahman is an evil terrorist cleric. I attended one of his speeches: what chaos ensued there were hundreds of fundamentalists determined to turn London into an Islamic hub for extremism. It was disgusting. That whole area of tower hamlets needs to be nuked, it’s a pig sliming stinking place that should not exist in 21century London. Filthy fu(king animals, send them all back home. Vote UKIP

  • mark tayler

    How many third world immigrants are our pathetic politicians going to allow in before the country sinks?

  • tres66

    Celebrate cultural diversity!

  • Greg Erlichmann

    London? Isn’t London supposed to be in England? Where are the actual English people? All I see are a sea of black and brown faces. Is there an ethnic cleansing going on over there I don’t know about?

  • Mr_Ominous

    Most of the mob that voted for Lutfur should be deported.

  • Nigel who?

    Hearing people talk about who to vote for to counter the effects of uncontrolled mass immigration from every 3rd world country for the past 60+ years really is what the phrase “re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic” was made for.

    Does anyone here seriously believe that UKIP would turn the clock back one minute, even if they formed a single-party state in 2015?

    Face it, the debate is well and truly over, and has been for decades now. Each London suburb and UK town & city will fall like dominos over the years to our African and South Asian friends and no party can or will do anything about it. The demographics are as plain as the nose on your face and anything else is bluster.

  • Peter Stroud

    But we all wanted multiculturalism, Labour told us so.

  • João Manuel Gomes

    Well, we DO have to “thank” the Labour party for modern-day Tower Hamlets..

  • Simon Fay

    “the politics of Tower Hamlets are simply rather bizarre”
    I take it this is the sort of sang-froid understatement the ruling class marks itself out by using (like an officer at Waterloo remarking disappointedly on his leg just being blown off).
    And the sanctions against the scenario described in this piece and elsewhere are…? What?
    In a parallel world this matter would be one that would be taken seriously. As it is, I understand that the coppers standing around at one of the polling stations had no idea what was right or wrong, and likely didn’t care.

  • Bill Sticker

    This sounds more like the goings on from a banana republic dictatorship than a mature democracy. Well northern Ireland excepted where entire graveyards have been known not to let the condition of their inhabitants prevent them from exercising their electoral franchise.

    • albertcooper

      It is a mini Banana Republic in essence,a ghetto of like minded immigrants !

  • jackie jackson

    The corruption in London is so deeply ingrained now that only a total change of government will ever stop it, so I voted for that total change, and will again in the general election, I hope millions more will also join the mass exodus from the liblabdems ,,,, after all 4 million of us can’t all be wrong can they!

  • RaySpring

    I am amazed at the tone of this article and the Racist, repeat, Racist, comments. We must welcome DIVERSITY. Tower Hamlets is a brilliant example of Diversity and we should welcome the emergence of a third world way of doing things. Diversity is all about ethnic difference. We cannot, and should not, expect Diversity to produce clones of English people. Diversity does things in its own way. Long may it continue, those people who object probably vote BNP or worse.

    • David

      You are correct, Tower Hamlets is a brilliant example…
      You say “We must welcome diversity…” why, so England can have Tower Hamlets everywhere? You have something against democracy? People not voting the way you vote?

      • RaySpring

        England will have Tower Hamlets everywhere in a few years. It is embracing change, enrichment. For over two thousand years the English have run England. Now the new arrivals are running it. Get Used To It. And if you dont like it, leave England or vote BNP. You and half a dozen others. (Voting BNP).

        • David

          I left the UK in 2006. “Leave England or vote BNP”, you seem to be under the impression that there are only two political parties: your’s and BNP? Someone disagree’s with you and you lump them in a racist party? Six people voted for BNP! Do you believe that or you just like making numbers up to make you feel good? The wonderful thing about democracy is that “get used to it” can be voted against, by millions, which they have done. Are you going to label them all BNP supporters/racists/bigots or can you accept that not all want to be in your socialist cult.

          • RaySpring

            But clearly, you have left UK. The people who vote are those newcomers to UK plus their relatives in the Third World. It is the way things are done, in the Third World, and now in England. It is DIVERSITY, ENRICHMENT. We have to embrace it since we cannot defeat it. People like you, and me, are leaving. So we do not vote and things are changing. New Tribes are moving in, to do things in their way. Love it or Leave.

    • albertcooper

      DIVERSITY ! this word drives me nuts,repeated over and over ! Who asked for it ! Tower Hamlets is a Ghetto period !

  • Brian

    If it takes so long to count anyway – why not send all the ballot boxes to another ward and exclude everyone except council officials and police.? That might result in a fairer result. It is sad that these people can ruin the reputation of London by bringing in habits akin to that of the third world. This is what the elite call multi-culture integration .
    God help us.

  • John Smith


  • Kay May

    Is this real in XXI century?

    • Simon Fay

      You probably COULD make it up, but luckily for us, we don’t have to.

  • jbootinky

    Well that’s what happens when you allow primitive third world peoples to come here en masse & take over areas.

  • Graeme S

    wherever you get large numbers of ethnic minorities you get electoral fraud. Its like day follows night.

  • Lynda Bateson

    Well I am not frightened to call it as it is. And you can even call me a racist if you like. I don’t give a sh#t. I am afraid Tower Hamlet Council is ROTTEN to the core. They are CHEATING. It called FRAUD. Of course their are arguments across the table because we all know you C H E A T I N G. Now I feel so much better for saying that.

  • Saikourufu

    Tower Hamlets, the proof how uncontrolled immigration has ‘enriched’ Britain….

  • wattys123

    5% of the children in TH are white British how multicultural.

  • Uptonmanor

    You can take a Bangladeshi out of Bangladesh,but you will NEVER EVER take the Bangladesh out of a Bangladeshi.

  • bugshead

    God it’s depressing. This is a mini Bangladesh inside the United Kingdom. It feels like Troy

  • FrenchNewsonlin

    Welcome to the culturally-enriched tribal fiefdom of Bihari Bangladesh aka as Tower Hamlets, “down and dirty politics in the raw” is our motto.