Lutfur Rahman declared bankrupt by High Court

Bankrupt: Lutfur Rahman
Bankrupt: Lutfur Rahman

Lutfur Rahman, the disgraced former mayor of Tower Hamlets, has been declared bankrupt by the High Court.

The 12-month order was made on 18 November, and means Mr Rahman’s assets may be sold to pay debts and places financial restrictions on him, including on his ability to borrow money.

Mr Rahman owes £250,000 towards the covering of legal costs incurred by the four petitioners who successfully challenged his 2014 re-election as Tower Hamlets executive mayor.

Now that Mr Rahman has been declared bankrupt, it is not clear whether they will be able to recover any of their money.

There have been two further hearings following Mr Rahman’s failure to pay any of the costs that the Election court ruled he owed the petitioners. He now owes further costs incurred in those additional hearings.

A new High Court hearing will begin next Tuesday, 1 December, and will examine Mr Rahman’s personal assets.

In office, he was registered as owning a property in Deal Street, Whitechapel and another in Grace Street, Bromley-by-Bow – both valued at six-figure sums.

However, his wife, Alesha Khatun Farid, claimed in July that it is in fact she who owns the Deal Street property and also owns 74 per cent of the Grace Street house. Her property cannot be used to pay her husband’s debts.

In August, High Court judge Mr Justice Edis suggested that Mr Rahman may be attempting to hide “his true wealth” from the petitioners who were attempting to claim their costs back.

Mr Rahman is registered as currently unemployed. An earlier freeze on his assets was extended until the end of January 2016 by Justice Edis.

Mr Rahman was elected executive mayor of Tower Hamlets in 2010, the first holder of the office and Britain’s first elected Muslim mayor. He stood as an independent following his expulsion from the Labour Party.

He won re-election in 2014 despite being the subject of a Panorama investigation into irregularities in grants made to community groups under his administration.

In April this year an Election Court ruled Mr Rahman’s re-election void and banned him from standing for office for five years.

The hearing followed a petition made under the Representation of the People Act by four Tower Hamlets residents led by anti-corruption activist Andy Erlam and local entrepreneur Azmal Hussain.


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