Archive for May 11th, 2010

The Assassin Returns

As predicted, the new leader of Tower Hamlets Council is Helal Uddin Abbas after he was elected unopposed last night when Lutfur Rahman realised he did not have the numbers.

Abbas’s deputy is Josh Peck and he will play a major role in the cabinet, which will be selected by Abbas and the group members on Thursday.

It remains to be seen whether Labour can, after the bitterness of the past four years, draw a line – albeit a short-lived one, since a directly elected Mayor will be voted in come October – and maximise the talent it has available among its new intake.

With the likelihood of vicious spending cuts being imposed by the new Government, Tower Hamlets is going to need all the experience it can muster.

Abbas would do well to at least appear to be forgiving and include in his team the likes of the returning England football fanatic David Edgar (oh what fun it will be to see him scrutinised in the public glare by his Lib Dem wife Stephanie Eaton: will she be submitting Freedom of Information requests about his meetings?), former leader Denise Jones, and yes, Lutfur and his lieutenant Marc Francis.

After all, they only have to live with each other for five months.

Among the other posts decided last night are the smiling Motin Uz-Zaman, who becomes the last ceremonial mayor of Tower Hamlets, and Royal London hospital nurse Anna Lynch, who, despite having only just been elected, is catapulted into the slot as deputy mayor. If Motin falls ill at any stage, then Anna will have to chair the infamously rowdy full council meetings: a terrifying thought!

Ps …friends of former Labour MP Oona King are touting her name for the directly elected mayor…now that would be a comeback.

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