Some snippets from last night’s meeting of Labour’s London members (sponsored by Canary Wharf Group) in Manchester, where Tower Hamlets mayoral candidate Helal Abbas received:
– a warm handshake and endorsement from new party leader Ed Miliband
– an even warmer pat on the back and cheeky wink from deputy leader Harriet Harman, who urged a packed room to descend on the East End to “support our fantastic candidate”
– an endorsement from a grimacing and slightly red-eyed Ken Livingstone who told me Labour’s selection process in Tower Hamlets had been “a disgrace” and urged voters to place Abbas first on the ballot paper and Lutfur Rahman second “otherwise we’ll get a Tory”.
I also chatted to someone closely involved in defending the party’s legal interests against Lutfur. I was told that Lutfur’s first case against his omission from the shortlist did not actually make the High Court and that the party had settled before that stage. Labour continues to be liable for Lutfur’s tens of thousands of pounds’ legal costs.
However, Lutfur’s second – and failed – case last week did make the High Court. Costs incurred there remain his liability.
Campaign expenses for all the candidates are going to make interesting reading.