Someone tweeted me once to say he loved reading about Tower Hamlets because it was like the “Sopranos but with curry”. Well, with the toxic mix of Canary Wharf bankers, a £1billion budget, lucrative regeneration money, the Olympics and former gang members as elected politicians, why expect anything else.
And last night, it came to pass. Labour’s Mile End East councillor Kosru Uddin is currently in custody after allegedly making threats to kill after last night’s full council meeting.
The police were called just after 11.30pm amid screams from the council chamber which had been cleared of the press and public to debate the appointment of a permanent new chief executive. Uddin was allegedly restrained during a row in Bengali with Rania Khan, an independent councillor who supports Mayor Lutfur Rahman.
Police have confirmed the arrest of a 45-year-old man for making “threats to kill”. I understand that both Rania Khan and Mayor Lutfur gave statements to the police.
Kosru was elected in 2010.
By the way, Labour and the Tories voted not to appoint interim chief executive Aman Dalvi to the permanent position because they said the recruitment process had been “flawed”. (Labour’s Abdal Ullah, Ahmed Omer and Marc Francis voted against their party’s motion on this.) Aman returns to his job as regeneration director and the interim CEO position has been offered to environment director Steve Halsey, who, I’m told, is likely to refuse the job in solidarity with Aman.
So if there is no head of paid service, who will pay the salaries?
Tower Hamlets is once again not only in disarray, but also in total chaos.
What a joke.
Kosru was later cleared of all allegations.