Toynbee Hall ‘disassociates itself’ from meeting attended by Lutfur Rahman

Lutfur Rahman
Back in the picture: ex-mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman

Toynbee Hall has distanced itself from “all political parties” after Lutfur Rahman was spotted at a Tower Hamlets Independent Group (THING) meeting at the venue on Monday night.

The borough’s former mayor was booted out of office last year after being found guilty of electoral fraud and he is barred from standing again until 2021.

But Rahman turned up at Toynbee Hall to take part in a meeting to decide THING’s 2018 mayoral candidate – later announced as his former deputy mayor Cllr Ohid Ahmed.

A spokesperson for Toynbee Hall said: “Last night a meeting with clear political purposes was held at the Toynbee Hall Community Wellbeing Centre in Tower Hamlets. Our Community Wellbeing Centre exists to promote and support the wellbeing of older people in the Tower Hamlets community.

“Toynbee Hall was not told of the political nature of that meeting which was described to us as a community meeting to discuss local issues. As a charity seeking to support the whole Tower Hamlets community, as a matter of principle, we do not support any political parties or causes at any time.

“As a result we must disassociate ourselves from last night’s meeting and ask that photographs featuring our logo and name not be used in any publicity materials or on any form of social media.”

Prior to the charity’s reaction, Ohid Ahmed said in a statement: “I am very humbled and honoured to get the support of my colleagues and have decisively won the contest to become the Independent Group’s candidate for the 2018 Tower Hamlets mayoral election.

“I would seek to represent all of Tower Hamlets and fight to make a real difference. I will devote all my energy in bringing Tower Hamlets together as one community and will not rest until winning back the mayoralty for the community.

“My top priority if elected would be to tackle Tower Hamlet’s housing crisis, ensuring genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy.”

Ahmed also vowed to “focus on improving education, employment and training opportunities for all, as well as ensuring community safety”.

Rahman, who has maintained a low profile in the aftermath of the vote-rigging scandal, released a statement endorsing Ahmed. It read: “As one of my key former cabinet colleagues and deputy mayor of Tower Hamlets, I know Cllr Ohid Ahmed has the experience and passion to make a genuine difference to improving the lives of everyone in Tower Hamlets. I will do everything I can to help him win back the mayoralty.”

What this all means for THING councillor Rabina Khan, who has already declared her intention to run for the mayoralty in 2018 following an unsuccessful tilt last year, remains unclear.

Khan did not attend the meeting at Toynbee Hall, and she is yet to respond to a request for comment.

  1. Ray Gipson on Wednesday 19 October 2016 at 10:46 am

    The comments on the 12th April 2016 must endorse again. The Commissioners Must Remain in Place in Tower Hamlets.



  2. Muhammad Haque on Wednesday 19 October 2016 at 4:08 pm

    1608 Hrs GMT London Weds 19 October 2016

    I am “intrigued” to notice a quote you attribute to Ohid Ahmed, as follows:

    “My top priority if elected would be to tackle Tower Hamlet’s housing crisis, ensuring genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy.”

    Has Ohid Ahmed CHANGED?
    I mean, has Ohid Ahmed CHANGED his cognitive faculties or components of what should be understood as his cognitive faculties?

    I recall having a series of COMMUNICATIONS addressing him in the 18 months before the 2014
    VOIDED Mayor Election (23 April 2015).

    The two topics I addressed Ohid Ahmed about were:

    1. Housing and
    2. Policing!

    INCREDIBLE, isn’t it!

    Housing and Policing are also two of the TOPICS now.

    First on “Housing”.

    I have evidence that shows Ohid Ahmed saying to me that he did not want to
    ask anyone in the Council about what it was doing on the specific Housing matters I had made him aware of.

    Ohid Ahmed said he had “respect” for me and he requested me – I assume “with respect” – to not press him for answers on the Housing crisis and the Council’s behaviour!

    It is not just on Housing that Ohid Ahmed said that I should leave him “out of” it!

    On Policing, he said the same thing as well.

    In EFFECT.

    I asked him if there was any Democratic forum for the Community in Tower Hamlets
    to make any contributions on what the Community thought should happen in Policing.

    Ohid Ahmed said that Tower Hamlets Council had a NOT PUBLIC meeting with the Police to discuss Policing!

    As for your retailing a plug about Toynbee Hall allegedly distancing themselves from Lutfur Rahman’s “Political” appearance at the venue, I can assert that whoever scripted the
    spiel post facto – in the name of Toynbee Hall has neglected the record of the Toynbee Hall.

    They had allowed Lutfur Rahman to launch the so-called “Tower Hamlets fairness CommissioN” from Toynbee Hall

    And on 30 September 2013, the same Toynbee Hall boasted of allowing Tower Hamlets Council’s”Fairness CommissioN” “Report” to be published from Toynbee Hall as well.

    Here is the Toynbee Hall’s boastful link on their website which I retrieved at 1600 GMT today Wednesday 19 October 2016

    http://www.toynbeehall.org.uk/news/55/time-to-act-tower-hamlets-fairness-commission-publish-their-report

    The “Fairness Commission” says (again, retrieved at 1600 GMT 19 October 2016)

    “The Fairness Commission is an independent body run by the Chair and Commissioners with support provided by Tower Hamlets Council and its research partner, Toynbee Hall.”

    The website/web link for the above quotation is as follow:

    http://thfairness.tumblr.com/about



  3. Muhammad Haque on Wednesday 19 October 2016 at 4:11 pm

    I am “intrigued” to notice a quote you attribute to Ohid Ahmed, as follows:

    “My top priority if elected would be to tackle Tower Hamlet’s housing crisis, ensuring genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy.”

    Has Ohid Ahmed CHANGED?
    I mean, has Ohid Ahmed CHANGED his cognitive faculties or components of what should be understood as his cognitive faculties?

    I recall having a series of COMMUNICATIONS addressing him in the 18 months before the 2014
    VOIDED Mayor Election (23 April 2015).

    1611 GMT Weds 19 Oct 2016



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