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Archive for April 14th, 2011

I’ll write more about last night’s full Tower Hamlets Council meeting when I have more time, but the tensest exchanges came during a debate about the infamous character reference Mayor Lutfur Rahman gave to a crown court judge on behalf of minicab molester Zamal Uddin.

You’ll remember that after I reported on the reference here, Lutfur wrote to me to give his explanation here.

After last night’s council meeting, the East London Advertiser’s Mike Brooke, who is a former BBC journalist, asked the Mayor about the issue.

Mike reports here:

Mayor Rahman later told the Advertiser: “This man’s family tricked me. They wanted a character reference but didn’t say it was for a court case.I knew nothing about any criminal case—they switched the reference and used it in a court case.”

Yet, as Mike points out (although in the old school tradition of not crediting those considered journalistic rivals, he declines to mention the name of this “blogsite”), Lutfur told me in his letter last month:

Based on the information provided by the family I was told that the named person was in court due to a revocation of his driving licence as he was not currently insured. They made the case to me that this was an oversight and that a reference would help him to convince the judge that he be allowed to retain his licence as it was a one off mistake.

I’ve been trying to work out how the two statements can be consistent. Maybe Ken Livingstone’s former adviser Murziline Parchment, who is now Lutfur’s chief of staff and who was sitting in the public gallery last night, can help out…

 

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