Further to this post last night, I understand from sources close to Lutfur Rahman that Cllr Rabina Khan is to be offeees the chance of being Tower Hamlets First’s candidate for mayor in June’s election.
She may well speak at the Water Lilly rally on Thursday night.
Lutfur’s camp are expecting some fall out from this decision. They know there is anger about the way this decision has been made, ie by Lutfur’s “kitchen cabinet” whose number includes of course Rabina’s husband, Cllr Aminur Khan.
They think it could even precipitate a number of THF councillors to break away from the “party” and speak out about how Lutfur has been conducting affairs. Some think Rabina is easier to control. So watch this space on that one.
Now that Oli Rahman has been overlooked, I suspect he may not feel the acting mayor role for six weeks is worth his job at the DWP. Read last night’s post for details on that.
This means he would have two options. He could quit as deputy mayor and thus acting mayor and thus leave it to someone else to nominate who should act as mayor until June 11. Clearly, Lutfur would like that person to be Rabina to boost her profile.
Or he could nominate a deputy before he resigns and that person could become acting mayor. He may appoint former deputy mayor Cllr Ohid Ahmed to that role.
I think Richard Mawrey QC’s aside that the governance of Tower Hamlets may need further examination will prove prescient.
As for Rabina, I’ll copy and paste below what I wrote about her last night, but she and her husband will now come under closer scrutiny, particularly him. He is said to be IFE and works for the Bangladesh Youth Movement, which has received large amounts of grant money from Tower Hamlets council. See Love Wapping’s blog here. Someone can add it up for me.
Rabina’s financial history with public money will also be exmained (we all know about her £120 taxi fare for a 1.5 mile trip). She has a directorship with Silisila Productions Ltd, a not for profit company which received a £30,000 grant from the council via the Government’s Prevent counter-extremism programme.
The money was used for a media engagement and arts project. If anyone has more details on attendance details and how that scheme was audited, please let me know. The grant is detailed here.
She also had a company called Monsoon Press, which was dissolved in 2011. Any more on that, please get in touch.
This goes for all companies associated with all mayoral candidates.
Here’s what i wrote last night.
Oli is not IFE. And neither actually is Rabina. However, she is helped in this respect by the position of her husband, Cllr Aminur Khan, who is. She is known to disagree with the IFE on many things and I’d be surprised if this hasn’t created lively conversations around the Khans’ dining table.
Rabina is seen by a section of younger Bengalis as bright, articulate and refreshing. She apparently knows how to charm on the doorstep, how to enter people’s homes and “have a cup of tea in the kitchen”, as someone put it to me last night. I suspect that were she to be selected there would be many in Labour’s camp who would say they were supporting John Biggs but who would not cast their vote for him.
But would she be the puppet that Lutfur would want while he fights to clear his name, or even after he fails in that task? What real experience does she have in running a large organisation? I’ve always thought her quite good in the council chamber when reading a prepared script. However, I’ve not seen too much evidence that she’s good at thinking on her feet. But I may be wrong.