At the Labour conference in Manchester, the party’s London regional director, Ken Clark, told me that anyone declaring their support for Lutfur Rahman would have their membership terminated.
At the same conference, although Ken Livingstone sailed close to the wind, he chose his words carefully and urged Helal Abbas’s supporters to place Lutfur second on their ballot papers.
Labour peer Lord Nazir Ahmed, who was last year jailed for two weeks dangerous driving, seems to have been a bit more reckless.
As a commenter on this thread last night has pointed out, the former jailbird appeared at a Lutfur campaign meeting last night in Bethnal Green.
Here’s what he said:
“I’m a Labour peer and for a Labour peer to come and support someone like Lutfur Rahman, I know that I could get into trouble, but…I’ve no hesitation in supporting Lutfur Rahman because he is the best candidate.”
After Lord Ahmed was jailed last year, there was some debate as to whether he would be expelled from the Labour party. However, he still believes he is, the House of Lords website still lists him as one, and so does the Lords information office, which just told me: “Lord Ahmed takes the Labour whip.”
I am waiting for the Labour party press office’s position on the matter. However, just as 11 members were expelled last week, I can’t see how Lord Ahmed can also escape.
Over to Ed Miliband…