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Archive for April, 2014

Of the many odd characters who lurk in the world of Tower Hamlets politics, few are odder than Stuart Madewell, Lutfur’s candidate for St Katharine’s and Wapping.

stuart madewell

(He’s the guy on the Left.)

He used to be in charge of the Shadwell branch of the Labour party but fell out with Michael Keith a few years back. Since then, I’m not sure what he’s been up to.

I once bumped into him in Canary Wharf Waitrose where he was doing his weekly shop; he’s pleasant enough in person but when he hides behind his Twitter egg or Facebook account, it’s as if dark has descended.

So his latest outpourings on Facebook have a dollop of unintended irony about them.

Here:

Stuart_Madwell_comments_29_April

In January, Mayor Lutfur and the other party leaders signed the Tower Hamlets Local Election Protocol, which had been drawn up by the council, the Met Police and the Electoral Commission.

The protocol was an attempt to restore some dignity to election campaigns and to bring some transparency to the process.

I’ll quote from it:

Reasons for the Protocol 

2.1 It is recognised that recent elections in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets have generated a disproportionate number of issues compared to other London Boroughs. On occasion there has been a breakdown in trust between various individuals and organisations involved in the electoral process. The reputation of the Borough has been damaged and public confidence has potentially been affected

Campaign material 

8.1 Candidates and campaigners will not cause or allow to be published any material that misrepresents any person or includes slanderous or derogatory statements about another candidate at the election

Para 8.1 is pretty clear isn’t it?

So Peter Golds has today written to Lutfur to ask what he’s going to do about Stuart. Peter asks whether he will be sacked as a Tower Hamlets First candidate. But this might well make the collection compiled by journalist/Mile End resident John Rentoul: QTWAIN (Question to Which the Answer Is No).

Here’s Peter’s letter:

Dear Mr Rahman

Re: Stuart Madewell

Yesterday Stuart Madewell posted on a local blog the following:

  • “The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (Wapping Chapter) are supporting the edict of the Grand Imperial Wizard Peter Golds.”

 I attach a hard copy of his contribution.

 You are quoted in a leaflet circulated in St Katharine’s and Wapping ward, a leaflet in which the ward name is spelt incorrectly no fewer than five times, as saying: 

  • “I’m proud that Stuart and….are part of my Tower Hamlets First Team.”      

As the political leader and head of the party in which Stuart Madewell is seeking election are you proud of a candidate that makes statements as offensive and absurd as that made by him?

Surely even Stuart Madewell is aware than on at least two grounds I would be one of the first to be lynched by an organisation, whose hierarchy he seems to know.

This kind of behaviour was supposed to have ceased in this borough, with the unveiling of the “Local Election Protocol” which you have signed. Section 8 states:

8.1 Candidates and campaigners will not cause or allow to be published any material that misrepresents any person or includes slanderous or derogatory statements about another candidate at the election.

Stuart Madewell has done exactly what your Party has said it will not do.

Over the past week UKIP has suspended three candidates in the local elections taking place nationwide for making malign staements.

You have just forty four candidates to manage. Will you be suspending Stuart Madewell as a member of your team?

If not, does this mean that you support his disgusting comments?

As we are in an election period I am afraid that hiding behind “human rights” or taxpayer funded lawyers will not enable you to avoid the actions of your “party.” For once an answer will be required.

The electorate of Tower Hamlets deserve to know whether you will come out and condemn the actions of this person?

Will you?

 

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The Government clearly has its eye on Tower Hamlets. Three weeks after Eric Pickles sent PwC inspectors to Mulberry Place, former Local Government Minister Bob Neill asked this in the Commons on Monday:

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 3 March 2014, Official Report, column 694W, on polling stations, what assessment he has made of the effect of foreign language translation by local authorities on integration of non-English speakers into their communities. [190554]

And this is how Brandon Lewis, Bob’s successor at the Department for Communities and Local Government replied:

Brandon Lewis: In March 2013, my Department published new guidance for local authorities outlining how councils should stop translating into foreign languages. As outlined in the written ministerial statement of 12 March 2013, Official Report, column 5WS, such translation weakens integration; discourages communities from learning English; undermines rather than strengthens equality goals; harms community relations; and is an expensive waste of taxpayers’ money at a time when councils need to be making sensible savings. It is disappointing that councils like Tower Hamlets have disregarded that guidance, and reflects broader issues with the dysfunctional governance and divisive practices of the council.

I would add that in light of previous instances of electoral fraud, including impersonation in polling stations, postal voting irregularities and allegations of improper influence, Ministers in this Department have concerns about the practice of allowing foreign language translators/interpreters inside polling stations. The privacy of the ballot must be protected and voters inside a polling station should not be subject to any pressure or influence to vote in a particular way. In that context, the integrity of the ballot box and of the local democratic process requires independent and transparent scrutiny in polling stations by polling agents, council staff, the police and, indeed, passing members of the public who are also voting. This is undermined by polling room administration being conducted in foreign languages.

Takki Sulaiman, the council’s head of communications, authorised this statement as a response:

The council wants to ensure as many people as possible exercise their democratic right in the elections in Tower Hamlets on May 22 and in such a diverse borough this includes consideration for those who may struggle with the English language.

Data from the 2011 census states that the single largest ethnic group in Tower Hamlets is Bangladeshi at 32% of the population, followed by White British at 31%. The council provides written instructions in polling stations in both English and Bengali and at least one Bengali speaker will be available in each polling station to help anyone who does not understand the voting process. These staff have undergone enhanced training to ensure the integrity of the polls are upheld. They are strictly there to explain the process of voting and if necessary the content of the ballot paper. For example, they cannot point out a particular candidate even if they are asked to; instead they have to read out the entire ballot paper.

The enhanced training for polling station staff is one of several measures voluntarily introduced by Tower Hamlets to ensure free and fair elections. The council has gone further than any other council in London by producing a tough new protocol for all those involved in the elections and only last week the Electoral Commission praised our Returning Officer and the police for the anti-fraud measures they have taken in the run-up to polling day.

Earlier this month, Tory opposition leader Cllr Peter Golds wrote to the Electoral Commission to say this:

I am writing to express my concerns about the possible use of “interpreters” in polling stations within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in the May 22nd 2014, local elections. There are a number of reasons regarding this that are likely to result in serious electoral concerns at these elections.

The Electoral Commission’s existing advice in this area is that “returning officers may employ staff for the purpose of translating or interpreting in polling stations”. This is dangerously untransparent and presents a risk of undue influence by those employed as interpreters.

There is a justifiable public concern about what interpreters tell electors. The use of minority languages in polling stations prevents presiding officers and anyone else including election officials and other voters who does not speak a particular language from knowing whether the advice given is appropriate or is an attempt to influence the voter. It will be extremely difficult to know whether the interpreters are informing or advising the electors they are assisting.

In Tower Hamlets, this has been an ongoing problem. In 2008 Ken Livingstone was defeated in the London Mayoral election after eight years in office. However, this was not so in Tower Hamlets, where there were remarkable swings to him, not least in the Weavers ward where the following incident took place at the Virginia Polling station. 

    • A council employed election official was pointing out the position of Ken Livingstone on the ballot paper to Bengali women and then checking the paper after they had voted to ensure that it “was correct”. He was not removed until mid afternoon after repeated complaints had been made to the local Returning Officer and the possibility of Bengali speaking electors threatening a showdown inside the polling station.

I have read evidence from other parts of the country that this situation has been observed ranging from Twickenham to Halifax.

Significantly the Weavers by election held on this day, also resulted in a very unusual result. The gain by the Labour candidate Fazlul Haque, of the seat from the Liberal Democrats. This was quite extraordinary in view of the massive loss of council seats sustained across the nation by the Labour Party that same day.

Ballot papers are already designed to make it as easy as possible for people to identify the candidate of their choice, with the candidate’s name, party, and an identifying party logo all printed in large print. There is information in voting in different languages within polling stations. One has to question if an elector cannot identify a candidate based on all this information, how they are in a position to cast a vote.

One may also ask how many interpreters in a borough such as Tower Hamlets would be required. Bengali, Somali and the full range of European languages are spoken locally. Who would decide what languages and where?

The voting process itself is more or less universal. I have witnessed elections in a number of different countries. The elector gives their name, receives a ballot paper, marks the ballot secretly in a private booth and then places the ballot paper in a sealed ballot box. What assistance is required in a process as simple as this?

Tower Hamlets has a long and unfortunate history of electoral malpractice, which has rarely, if ever, been properly investigated. There is already an atmosphere of mistrust regarding the electoral process in this borough, born of too many years of inaction by the authorities. Local politics is increasingly fractured on ethnic and religious lines and a proposal such as this can only further damage community cohesion.

Unnecessary interpreters compromise the validity and transparency of the poll, and I urge the commission to reconsider this decision which will only add to the electoral concerns of residents of this borough.

The mayoral election in Tower Hamlets uses the second preference voting system and not many people, including fluent English speakers, understand it. I even had to explain it to the Tower Hamlets Ukip bosses when they announced they were standing a couple of months ago. For example, do you have to cast a second preference? Answer: No.

So I can understand that questions will be asked in the polling station and it is surely better to have the answers explained clearly and fully in a language they understand.

However, where do you draw the line? Does the council believe there are so many Bengalis living in Tower Hamlets who would struggle to ask a question about voting in English and who would struggle to understand an English answer?

Well, surely it must to justify its decision.

In which case, that is symptomatic of a much wider failure of policy and returns us to this section of Brandon Lewis’s answer:

such translation weakens integration; discourages communities from learning English; undermines rather than strengthens equality goals; harms community relations; and is an expensive waste of taxpayers’ money at a time when councils need to be making sensible savings.

Yet in Tower Hamlets, Mayor Lutfur Rahman still happily rubber stamps tens of thousands of pounds of council grants to fund free private Bengali Mother Tongue classes to youngsters who already struggle in English.

Far from being a Great Champion for the Bengali community, he’s like a bad parent handing out sugar coated sweets, with no brave and bold long term thinking at all.

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The so-called Panorama “whistleblower”, who is a suspect in a criminal investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office into breaches of the Data Protection Act, offered us more of her coherent thoughts last night. The best I can say is that I have no idea how she got through journalism college.

Here it is:

In my last blog I had highlighted some key experiences that I had while being involved in the Panorama programme The Mayor and Our Money and after that I remained silent so that it can allow the people of Tower Hamlets (considering it affects them) to decide their opinion upon my action. Therefore I would like to firstly thank all of those people who have allowed their minds to be open and actually understand the situation before pouncing on me and judging me. So Thank you.

Now, I have read many of the reports relating to the Panorama programme, some of which are worthwhile reading and some of which are just pure rubbish. Reading them made me question the world we live in, where lies are so easily believed yet the truth has to be fought out. Amazing isn’t it, reminds me of a quote by John Lennon,’we live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight’.

Most of the negative portrayal obviously is coming from the BBC side, for example Ted Jeory and even John Ware took time out to write about me making so called ‘false claims’. But what is it that they are trying to establish? What is it that they are trying to make me feel? Guilt? Are they trying to question my own mind into making me believe that what I did was wrong? Well I’m afraid I am going to have to disappoint them there because even now I still stand by what I did and still believe that the programme was biased and did have racial undertones. Just because the programme that was broadcast to the public was narrowed down and the content was drastically changed, the original programme which I had the dossier to had negative references to the Bengali community such as taking the ‘mickey’ out of the way Bengali people spoke English.

Moving on, my lawyers still have not received any news from the BBC, Films of Record or the ICO so why does Ted Jeory seem to think that there is a criminal investigation under way against me? That annoyed me, how about Mr Ted Jeory you stop poking your nose in, stop trying to be a ‘little gossip’ and stop manipulating the minds of your readers and let the ICO do their job and let them decide the action they feel fair against me. But I have to question, how will the ICO investigate the minds of the people associated with this programme? How will the ICO stop the programme makers racial thoughts? How will the ICO experience what I experienced while working there? ‘It seems that the safest opinion in this world is to have no opinion. Why? Because truth changes. It plays hide and seek. The nearest you can come to an informed judgement would require a serious investigation, digging in archives, interviewing eye-witnesses. What normal citizen has time for that? So we leave it up to journalists, historians, politicians. And the result is…CHAOS.

The statement in Mr Jeory’s latest blog, ‘she lasted four days before the team waved goodbye to her’, made me chuckle because firstly, it is five days and secondly I had sent an email to a member of the team stating ‘no thanks’. Ted Jeory, if you are going to be closed minded would you mind being closed mind aswell?

Just in case these ‘journalists’ assume I am ‘lying’,here is a screen-shot of the email from ME to the team:

no thanks

 

As for the ICO, I will definitely co operate with them once I hear something from them and as for me handing over the dossier, I perhaps understood the implications that it may have on me but I could not have consciously allowed such biased programme to go ahead and fill the mind of the public with filth and hatred towards brown skin, because remember, we are not born racist. It is the idea of fear that always works to influence the population. This is were racism starts and as I am aware ‘the media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent and that is power, because they control the mind of the masses’.

My thoughts about the Bengali sources is that they were traitors. Any Bengali person who speaks negatively or belittles the Bengali people in my eyes are traitors, just like during our liberation war in 1971 some fellow Bengali people lost their way and sold themselves to the rival army, these so called ‘sources’ (all of them who have some kind of hidden agenda against Lutfur Raman) are similar to them and have made the Bengali community look incompetent.

Finally, to me all this is propaganda. For a start it is not surprising to see who BBC or Films of record chose to first disclose my actions, Mr Ted Jeory, who ‘surprisingly’ seems to be married to a Bengali woman. My guess is that they thought people will be dormant and accept his views because ‘surely’ he cannot be racist when his own wife is of Bengali origin. Funny that, because Mr Jeory being married to a Bengali cultured woman you must have an idea of our Bengali culture. You must understand that many Bengali’s are very patriotic because Bangladesh is a country made by the blood of our freedom fighters. Shouldn’t you have been a little more sensitive in your approach instead of siding with ‘your friends’.Considering you have ‘so much’ to write about and you are almost ‘like neutral’ shouldn’t you have been the first person to come to me and asked what it was about the content of the programme that I found was insulting to the Bengali community for me to take such a step? But did you? No. Double standards is it?

 

IMG_185291015219966

As I have said before I belong to no political party, I do not even live in Tower Hamlets therefore it does not affect me as to who becomes the next Mayor of Tower Hamlets but I must say the way Mr Jeory writes so critically of Lutfur Rahman constantly, I sympathise with Mr Rahman to see what abuse and unfair portrayal he has to put up with. But I guess Lutfur Rahman is better than that to pay any attention to narrow minded people, no wonder he has been able to make such big improvements in Tower Hamlets. Makes me believe in is motto, ‘One Tower Hamlets’. Lastly I could not help but be amused at the statement, ‘ The characters now act like dim kids in a playground; back then it was proper adult hooliganism ‘,well perhaps if journalists like Ted Jeory stopped behaving like spoilt snobby brats, who seem to dictate,making outrageous allegations,spreading gossip and interfering these ‘dim kids’ maybe can have more time to actually get on with their jobs instead of wasting time trying to defend themselves.

Impressive isn’t it? I particularly like the last sentence, that journalists shouldn’t “interfere” with the way politicians conduct themselves. This from a so-called “journalist”. Would love to know her tutor’s thoughts.

As for the snide slurs on my understanding of my wife’s culture and the assertion that any Bengali who dares to criticise another Bengali is somehow a traitor, well….what planet? Ms So-called “Whistleblower”, have a read of this. It’s an account of my mother-in-law’s life. As you’ll see, she had a bit more experience of the 1971 liberation war than you did. And of hard core racism in the Seventies. And of genuine traitors.

And let’s put it this way, I’m fairly certain she’d give you a clip round the backside with her trusty walking stick right now.

Husna Matin

 

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I’ve never tried this before so it is a bit of an experiment, but following the example of The Wharf, here’s your chance to ‘vote’ for the next Tower Hamlets Mayor.

I’ve listed the answers in the order they will appear on the May 22 ballot paper.

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I’ll update this blog post as and when I get more information but here’s the official list of candidates for Tower Hamlets mayor.

It was announced today and it includes 10 names, all of them male.

Sigh.

Here’s the list:

Nominations for LBTH Mayor

The Lib Dem candidate , Reetendra Banerji, is an unknown in Tower Hamlets but a man of his name did he did stand in Hounslow in 2006, when his biog stated this:

Reeten Banerji, 32, is a maths teacher and Territorial Army member, serving in a Hayes based logistics regiment. He was born and has lived most of his life in the London Borough of Hounslow.

Reeten’s professional career, before teaching, had been with a major US telecommunications corporation in Atlanta, Georgia. He then moved into IT consultancy in Silicon Valley, California during the ‘dotcom’ years. He worked with a number of IT startup companies launching wireless Data Network products and services.

Reeten holds a Bachelors degree in Mathematics from London and an MBA from the University of North Carolina. He is a keen cyclist and is involved with the London Cycling Campaign helping to bring about the best possible services for people who cycle or who want to cycle in London.

He sounds far too sensible for Tower Hamlets but I hope he does well. Good luck to him.

The other name to strike out is Reza Shoaib Choudhury, who is standing as an independent. He is not so unknown in Tower Hamlets. In fact, he’s very well known, and popular. He is married to the lovely and lively Dr Anwara Ali, who was formerly a Labour councillor in Bow West before she defected to the Tories in 2010.

Shoaib is the boss of the Bengali satellite TV station, Channel i, so that’s one channel Lutfur will struggle to bring round to his ways. In fact, there’s an expectation that Shoaib could split the Bengali vote from Lutfur. Well, let’s see.

Here’s Shoaib’s leaflet:

img017

The nominations for council candidates have also been published but I’ll leave that for another post.

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UPDATED AT 5PM, APRIL 25 WITH MICHAEL KEITH’S COMMENTS AT BOTTOM

Mayor Lutfur Rahman issued this press release yesterday:

Labour Mayoral hopeful John Biggs was facing mounting criticism today on his questionable record on race issues as a leaked internal memo from the Labour Party revealed that concerns had been raised regarding Mr Biggs’s apparent prejudice as early as 1995.

Professor Michael Keith, now Director of the Centre for Migration Policy and Society at Oxford University and a former Labour council leader in the borough, wrote to Labour Councillors and MPs saying:

“In short, I would accuse John Biggs of racism” after Biggs was apparently involved in the production of an inflammatory election leaflet.

This is not the first time Biggs has been mired in a race row. In 1998 he campaigned against the creation of Banglatown to be added to Spitalfields Ward, and in 2013 his Labour Group made false claims that housing allocations were being targeted to Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s supporters – claims that were gleefully used as propaganda by the EDL.

Recently, Biggs caused controversy with irresponsible remarks on the Sunday Politics show claiming Mayor Rahman was only serving the Bangladeshi community, at a time when the EDL were planning to march through Tower Hamlets.

Cllr. Alibor Choudhury of Tower Hamlets First, who reported Biggs to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission for the remarks said:

“John Biggs’ 20 year record of dubious racially-charged remarks is there for anyone to see. This latest revelation shows that he doesn’t have the cultural sensitivity to run a diverse borough like Tower Hamlets.”

I’ve asked Lutfur’s camp to produce the leaflet that was at the centre of the row between Michael and John, but they say they don’t have it.

Context is everything, so let me try and give some. If you thought politics in Tower Hamlets was poisonous now, it was a different matter in the Nineties. The characters now act like dim kids in a playground; back then it was proper adult hooliganism.

Race and racism was genuinely the major issue then. Derek Beackon had been elected as BNP councillor in Millwall in 1993 and was kicked out a year later. The Lib Dems were at the centre of an inquiry by their own party leader, Paddy Ashdown, who was deeply concerned that activists had been engaged in racist campaigning.

Pretty much everything was evaluated in terms of race. As now, back then it was also used as a political stick.

We don’t have the leaflet, so we can’t evaluate it, but my understanding is that Michael Keith is appalled that something taken completely out of context 20 years ago is being used now as a smear. I’m sure we could all look back at things we’ve said 20 years ago and wish we’d phrased differently. I’m also sure Alibor will look back at his own behaviour now in 20 years and feel disgust with himself.

I understand Michael Keith might be issuing a statement on this today. My understanding is there was no way he thought John racist, either then or now. In fact, he is one of the people who has signed John’s nomination papers.

As for Alibor’s complaint to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission…well, what he doesn’t disclose is that they’ve told him it’s not one for them. The EHCR has in fact written to him twice to warn him against using misconstruing any of their replies to him on the matter.

If he feels so strongly about John’s words on the BBC Politics programme (when he pointed out that Lutfur’s cabinet was exclusively Bengali and appeared to be focusing too much on one section of the community – a statement of fact and fair comment, actually), then he has the option of going to the police. But he won’t because even he would know that’d be wasting police time.

After all, the police have drug dealers and gang members to catch on Alibor’s Ocean estate, don’t they.

However, back to Lutfur’s press release. I asked John for his thoughts. There are two camps on how to react to these attacks. One wants him to ignore them, the other wants him to punch back.

His statement to me below is measured and dignified in my view and straddles both camps.

This endless mud slinging and negative messaging demeans the mayor and shows both a desperation and that he has given up trying to reach across the borough and is working a ‘core vote ‘ strategy in which he clearly hopes that most people will stay at home and that his supporters, galvanised by repeated spurious  allegations against me will get them back into the town hall.

There is of course a danger it will work but it shows that their cupboard is pretty bare. 

The repeated use of the racism smear both insults real victims and diminishes them. I am proud of my record attacking  intolerance. Ironically they are defining themselves as the next obstacle to the sort of tolerant community we need. It helps me to understand quite how important it is to defeat them. 

I hear they are announcing their manifesto today. It will be interesting to see how many of our policies they will steal!

UPDATE:

Tower Hamlets Labour have issued the following statement from Michael Keith:

To dredge up out of context comments that were made almost twenty years ago to smear someone’s character scrapes the gutter. I’ve known John Biggs for decades and, while we have had our differences at times, there is no doubt in my mind that he works for the benefit of the whole community in Tower Hamlets. To try to paint him as a racist is a cynical act of electoral dirty politics.

He is the best candidate to represent all the communities of the borough in these difficult times and I am happy to support him.

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In the days before Panorama broadcast on March 31, Lutfur Rahman and his camp looked into their crystal ball and confidently warned the world the programme would be “racist” and “Islamophobic”.

The Mayor himself (a lawyer, remember) went further and took to Twitter to say this:

TwitterA few days later he repeated the charge on his blog:

Criminal investigation underway as BBC Panorama whistle-blower reveals racist and Islamophobic programme on Tower Hamlets

You may be aware that BBC Panorama is due to air a programme about Tower Hamlets next week.

I believe the programme is being used for political campaigning and electioneering purposes just weeks before local and Mayoral elections in May.

A dossier passed to us by a BBC whistle-blower has revealed it to be in total breach of the BBC’s editorial guidelines as a public broadcaster.

It has clear racist and Islamophobic overtones targeting the Bangladeshi Muslim community in Tower Hamlets.

The BBC and the undercover production company, Films of Record, have also been referred to the Information Commissioner and there is now a criminal investigation underway.

 He was referring, of course, to the so-called “whistleblower” who was hired by the Panorama team to work as a journalist/researcher.

I wrote about her here. She lasted four days before the team waved her goodbye. She took a very important dossier she’d “obtained” from the Panorama team and handed it to the Mayor’s office. She then claimed “whistleblower” status.

She claimed the programme was biased and that she’d witnessed racism among the producers and reporting team.

This was all gleefully exploited by Lutfur and his aides as yet more evidence of an Establishment stitch-up. He even wrote to the BBC’s Director General to demand the programme be pulled, he told us on his blog.

The so-called “whistleblower” herself started a blog and opened an anonymous Twitter account where she detailed her experiences.

Here’s some examples of her Tweets:

Twitter Voice of Bangla

(sic)

As some of you are aware there is a criminal investigation under way relating to this programme which limits me as to what I can disclose.
Well, allow me to disclose something.
Today, I asked the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) whether there was, as Lutfur said, a criminal investigation into the BBC.
No, they confirmed. And neither is there one into Films of Record, the production company.
I asked whether there was any criminal investigation, but all they would say is there is an “investigation into allegations of a breach of the Data Protection Act and enquiries are continuing”.
However, I can go further.
I gather that a member of the public, who has for many years been a close observer of Tower Hamlets politics, has made his own complaint to the ICO because data connected to him was in the dossier. I understand from him that the there IS a criminal investigation and that he’s a witness.
Not only that, I gather from him that the ICO also has an official “suspect” in the case.
Guess who?
Yes, the so-called “whistleblower” herself.
She’s the one being investigated, not the BBC.
Wonder if Lutfur will tweet that?
The Panorama programme “racist?”

Well, I don’t think any reasonable person thinks that. Even the Guardian’s Dave Hill, who takes a more measured tone than most on these issues (to the point of glossing over Lutfur’s character sometimes) said, “the Panorama show was pretty measured, sketched in relevant context and acknowledged some of the borough’s achievements. The questions it asked were reasonable. It didn’t recycle that pernicious glory-seeking back catalogue of Tower Hamlets’ Islamist conspiracy that so excites the far Right, and well done for that”.
However, stand by for more phoney allegations of “racism” and “Islamophobia” – those last refuges of a bankrupt politician with no credible answers to the “reasonable” questions Panorama raised about his high handed and unaccountable governance.
He’s been the victim himself of pretty nasty smears and innuendo. Quite rightly, he’s railed against the bigots who spread them. What a shame he’s resorting to similar tactics.

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