2022 Tower Hamlets Council election
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All 45 council seats
John Biggs Labour politician London (cropped).jpg
Leader John Biggs Elliott Weaver
Party Labour Conservative
Last election 42 seats, 46.1% 2 seats, 9.9%

Lutfurrahman1 (cropped).jpg
Leader Lutfur Rahman Rabina Khan
Party Aspire Liberal Democrats
Last election 0 seats, 15.4% 0 seats, 8.6%

Incumbent council control


The 2022 Tower Hamlets London Borough Council election is currently taking place as of 5 May 2022. All 45 members of Tower Hamlets London Borough Council will be elected. The elections will take place alongside local elections in the other London boroughs and elections to local authorities across the United Kingdom.

In the previous election in 2018, the Labour Party regained control of the council from no overall control, winning 42 out of the 45 seats with the Conservative Party forming the principal opposition with two of the remaining three seats. The election will coincide with an election for the mayor of Tower Hamlets.



Result of the 2018 borough election
Result of the 2018 borough election

The thirty-two London boroughs were established in 1965 by the London Government Act 1963. They are the principal authorities in Greater London and have responsibilities including education, housing, planning, highways, social services, libraries, recreation, waste, environmental health and revenue collection. Some powers are shared with the Greater London Authority, which also manages passenger transport, police, and fire.[1]

Since its formation, Tower Hamlets has generally been under Labour control. The SDP–Liberal Alliance won a majority of seats in the 1986 election, and the newly formed Liberal Democrats won a majority in the 1990 election. There was also a period of no overall control from 2014 to 2018. From 1990 to 2006, all councillors elected to the council were Labour or Liberal Democrats. In the 2006 election, Labour maintained its majority by winning 26 seats, but the new Respect Party won twelve seats, with the Conservatives on seven and the Liberal Democrats on six.[2] In the 2010 election, Respect lost all but one of its seats with Labour winning 41, the Conservatives winning eight and the Liberal Democrats winning one. Respect were the only party to advocate a change in executive arrangements at the council to introduce a directly elected mayor of Tower Hamlets. A mayoral petition was successfully arranged by the Respect activist Abjol Miah, which was successful.[3]

The Labour councillor Lutfur Rahman, who had been leader of the council from 2008 until his was replaced in 2010 after a Channel 4 documentary linked him to the Islamic Forum of Europe, was selected as his party's candidate for the mayoralty.[4] He was removed as the candidate by the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party after "very serious allegations" about the selection.[5] He subsequently ran as an independent candidate with support from Respect.[6][7] Rahman was elected in the October 2010 election with more than half of the vote in the first round.[8] Rahman established a new political party called Tower Hamlets First in 2013. He ran for re-election as the Tower Hamlets First candidate in 2014, being re-elected in the second round against the Labour candidate John Biggs.[9] In the concurrent council election, Tower Hamlets First won 18 seats, with Labour on 22 and the Conservatives on 5, resulting in no overall control of the council.[10]

In 2015, Rahman was removed from office and his election was declared void after he was found guilty of electoral fraud. He was barred from seeking re-election for five years.[11][12] Tower Hamlets First was de-registered as a political party by the Electoral Commission shortly after.[13] In the 2015 re-run of the mayoral election, Rahman endorsed the independent candidate Rabina Khan.[14] Khan had been elected as a Labour councillor in 2010 but had been suspended for supporting Rahman's initial 2010 election, and had been re-elected in the 2014 council election as a Tower Hamlets First councillor.[15][16] Biggs won the election.[17] The former Tower Hamlets First councillors formed the Tower Hamlets Independent Group. Khan formed the breakaway group the People's Alliance of Tower Hamlets (PATH) with some other Tower Hamlets Independent Group councillors, which was formally registered in 2018.[18] The remaining Tower Hamlets Independent Group councillors formed the new party Aspire.[19]

In the most recent mayoral election in 2018, Khan stood as the PATH candidate, coming second, and Ohid Ahmed stood for Aspire. Ahmed had been endorsed by Rahman.[20] Biggs was successfully re-elected for the Labour Party with 48.4% of the vote in the first round and 72.7% of the vote after second preferences were taken into account.[21] In the concurrent council election, Labour won 42 seats with 46.1% of the vote, while the Conservatives won two seats with 9.9% of the vote across the borough. Khan was elected as a councillor for PATH, with her party winning 11.3% of the vote across the borough. Aspire lost all their representation, winning no seats with 15.4% of the vote. The Liberal Democrats received 8.6% of the vote and the Green Party received 7.9% of the vote, but neither won any seats.[22]

Council term

Rabina Khan disbanded PATH in August 2018 and switched to the Liberal Democrats.[23] Mohammed Pappu, a councillor for Blackwall and Cubitt town, was suspended from the Labour Party in October 2018 after sharing antisemitic posts on social media.[24][25] In the following month, he apologised, saying that he had not read the posts properly and offered to undergo training.[26] A Labour councillor for Lansbury ward, Mohammad Harun, resigned in December 2018 after Biggs ordered an investigation into allegations of housing fraud.[27] A Labour councillor for Shadwell ward, Ruhul Amin, resigned in January 2019 because he was moving to Bangladesh.[28] Both by-elections took place in February 2019, with Rajib Ahmed holding Lansbury for Labour and Ohid Ahmed coming in second place for Aspire. The Aspire candidate Mohammad Harun Miah won the by-election in Shadwell, with the Labour candidate Asik Rahman coming in second place.[29] Asik Rahman had apologised during the campaign for liking the Facebook page of Zakir Naik, a preacher who was banned from entering the UK.[30]

The leader of the Conservatives on the council, Andrew Wood, resigned from his party to sit as an independent in February 2020 while remaining in the Conservative group on the council. He cited the Conservative government's approach to Brexit and decision to override guidance to approve a controversial housing development in the borough.[31] John Pierce, a Labour councillor for Weavers ward, died in June 2021. He had been first elected in 2012.[32] A by-election to fill the seat was held in August 2021, which was won by the Aspire candidate Kabir Ahmed.[33] A Conservative councillor credited Aspire's victory to the Labour council's implementation of low traffic neighbourhood schemes, which Ahmed promised to end if Aspire won the 2022 council elections.[33][34]

Mayoral referendum

Tower Hamlets held a referendum in May 2021 on whether to maintain the system of directly electing a mayor, or to return to the leader-and-cabinet model where councillors elect a leader.[35] Biggs and the Labour Party, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats including Rabina Khan, and the Green Party campaigned in favour of ending the mayoral system, while Rahman campaigned to keep it.[36] The outcome of the referendum was to continue with the mayoral system, with 77.8% of votes in favour.[37]

Tower Hamlets Governance Referendum
6 May 2021
Choice Votes %
Referendum passed
Elected mayor
63,046 77.8
Leader-and-cabinet system 17,957 22.2
Valid votes 81,003 95.9
Invalid or blank votes 3,444 4.1
Total votes 84,447 100.00
Source: [38]


Council election

The communities minister Kemi Badenoch wrote to the Metropolitan Police and Electoral Commission about concerns over the possibility of election fraud and family voting in Tower Hamlets.[39]

Council Candidates

The Labour Party, Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats are all standing a full slate of 45 candidates each. Aspire is standing 44 candidates, the Green party is standing 39, the SDP and TUSC are both standing one candidate each.[40]

Mayoral election

The Labour mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, is seeking re-election.[41] In January 2022, the Liberal Democrat councillor Rabina Khan was announced as her party's candidate for the mayoralty.[42] In the same month, the independent councillor Andrew Wood, who had resigned from the Conservative group in 2020, announced he would stand for election as both a councillor and mayor.[43] Wood said the council should spend more of its reserves building homes, schools and bridges.[44] The former mayor of the borough, Lutfur Rahman, announced his candidacy for the Aspire party in February 2022.[45] Rahman's five-year ban from standing for election, having been found guilty by an election court of "corrupt and illegal practices", had elapsed.[11][12] He was endorsed at his formal campaign launch in March by the former mayor of London Ken Livingstone and the peer Pola Uddin.[46] Elliott Weaver is standing as the Conservative mayoral candidate.[47]

Electoral process

Tower Hamlets, like other London borough councils, elects all of its councillors at once every four years. The previous election took place in 2018. The election will take place by multi-member first-past-the-post voting, with each ward being represented by two or three councillors. Electors will have as many votes as there are councillors to be elected in their ward, with the top two or three being elected.

All registered electors (British, Irish, Commonwealth and European Union citizens) living in London aged 18 or over will be entitled to vote in the election. People who live at two addresses in different councils, such as university students with different term-time and holiday addresses, are entitled to be registered for and vote in elections in both local authorities.[48] Voting in-person at polling stations will take place from 7:00 to 22:00 on election day, and voters will be able to apply for postal votes or proxy votes in advance of the election.[48]

Previous council composition

After 2018 election Before 2022 election
Party Seats Party Seats
Labour 42 Labour 40
Conservative 2 Aspire 2
PATH 1 Conservative 1
Liberal Democrats 1
Independent 1

Candidates by Ward

Asterisks denote incumbent Councillors seeking re-election. Unless otherwise noted, the councillors seeking re-election were elected in 2018.

Bethnal Green East (formerly Bethnal Green)

Bethnal Green East (3)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Aspire Syed Abdullah
Aspire Nurul Gaffar
Aspire Ahmodul Kabir
Conservative Dinah George
Conservative Benjamin Hack
Conservative Samuel Hall
Green Rupert George
Green Jack Mathews
Green Daniel Smith
Labour Sirajul Islam*
Labour Eve McQuillan*
Labour Rebeka Sultana
Liberal Democrats Ryan James
Liberal Democrats Eugene Lynch
Liberal Democrats Callum Robertson

Bethnal Green West (formerly St Peters)

Bethnal Green West (3)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Aspire Musthak Ahmed
Aspire Abu Chowdhury
Aspire Rahman Amin
Conservative Lucy Hamilton
Conservative Angela Magny
Conservative Bernard Magny
Green Paul Burgess
Green David Cox
Labour Sufia Alam
Labour Kevin Brady*
Labour Mizan Chaudhury
Liberal Democrats Judith Cohen
Liberal Democrats Rebecca Jones
Liberal Democrats Ashley Lumsden
TUSC Sarah O'Neill

Blackwall and Cubitt Town

Blackwall and Cubitt Town (3)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Aspire Abdul Malik
Aspire Ahmodur Khan
Aspire Muhammad Uddin
Conservative Matthew Miles
Conservative Nick Vandyke
Conservative Sofia De Sousa
Green Caroline Fenton
Green Seamus Hayes
Green Tamsin Kavanagh
Labour Afsana Lachaux
Labour Christopher Worrall
Labour Mohammed Pappu*
Liberal Democrats Azizur Khan
Liberal Democrats Guy Benson
Liberal Democrats Richard Flowers

Bow East

Bow East (3)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Aspire Monzo Khaton
Aspire Rahima Khatun
Aspire Masood Rahman
Conservative Robin Edwards
Conservative Lesley Lincoln
Conservative Imogen Sinclair
Green Ellis Bright
Green Nicola Power
Labour Amina Ali*
Labour Rachel Blake*
Labour Marc Francis*
Liberal Democrats Liza Franchi
Liberal Democrats Simon Herbert
Liberal Democrats Richard MacMilan

Bow West

Bow West (2)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Aspire Junu Ali
Aspire Ripon Ali
Conservative Desmond Ellerbeck
Conservative Mariem Sarghini
Green Nathalie Bienfait
Green Alistair Polson
Labour Asma Begum*
Labour Val Whitehead*
Liberal Democrats Tom Kaneko
Liberal Democrats Janet Ludlow

Bromley North

Bromley North (2)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Aspire Saif Khaled
Aspire Abdul Nazrul
Conservative Jonathan Gillespie
Conservative Mohammed Rahman
Green Daniel Blythin-Hammond
Green Bethan Lant
Labour Najnine Chowdhury
Labour Muhammad Salam
Liberal Democrats Nehad Chowdhury
Liberal Democrats Siobhan Proudfoot
SDP Jonathon Mabbut

Bromley South

Bromley South (2)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Aspire Bodrul Choudhury
Aspire Ikbal Hussain
Conservative Indigo Atherton
Conservative Stephen Charge
Green Rob Curry
Green Barney Green
Labour Shubo Hussain
Labour Jenny Symmons
Liberal Democrats Joshua Casswell
Liberal Democrats David Vinas

Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf (2)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Aspire Saled Ahmed
Aspire Maium Talukdar
Conservative Francis Germaine-Powell
Conservative Samia Hersey
Independent Andrew Wood* †
Labour Adam Allnutt
Labour Shajia Sultana
Liberal Democrats Mohammed Hannan
Liberal Democrats Morgan Jones

† Andrew Wood was elected for the Conservative Party in 2018 but resigned to sit as an Independent in 2020.[31]

Island Gardens

Island Gardens (2)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Aspire Syed Ali
Aspire Sadiqur Rahman
Conservative Peter Golds*
Conservative Callum Murphy
Green David Allison
Labour Mufeedah Bustin*
Labour Zaglul Khan
Liberal Democrats Andrew Cregan
Liberal Democrats Shelly English


Lansbury (3)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Aspire Abul Ahmed
Aspire Jahed Choudhury
Aspire Iqbal Hossain
Conservative Akbar Ali
Conservative Paul Ingham
Conservative Chrissie Townsend
Green Norm Cassidy
Green John Scanlan
Labour Kahar Chowdhury*
Labour Ansarul Haque
Labour Shaheda Rahman
Liberal Democrats Elaine Bagshaw
Liberal Democrats Abdul Manik
Liberal Democrats Muhammad Uddin


Limehouse (1)[49]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour James King* 728 40.18 +3.13
Conservative David Garside 403 22.24 -8.28
Aspire Atia Jorna 347 19.15 +8.99
Liberal Democrats Warwick Danks 191 10.54 -2.46
Green Geoffrey Juden 143 7.89 +2.15
Majority 325
Rejected ballots 12
Turnout 1812 39.27 -4.84
Registered electors 4668
Labour hold Swing

Mile End

Mile End (3)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Aspire Haji Habib
Aspire Azad Miah
Aspire Helal Miah
Conservative Shah Alam
Conservative Craig Aston
Conservative Srikanth Rajgopal
Green Jack Gibbons
Green Gunther Jancke
Green Simon Levey
Labour Leelu Ahmed
Labour Mohammad Chowdhury
Labour Sabina Khan
Liberal Democrats Horia Bogdan
Liberal Democrats Tabitha Potts
Liberal Democrats Wei Qu


Poplar (1)[50]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Aspire Gulam Choudhury 1,134 53.07 +26.25
Labour Zenith Rahman 602 28.17 -8.67
Green Rebecca Binns 152 7.11 N/A
Conservative Dominic Nolan 131 6.13 -1.07
Liberal Democrats Habibur Tafader 118 5.52 +0.69
Majority 532
Rejected ballots 48
Turnout 2,137 44.25
Registered electors 4,940
Aspire gain from Labour Swing


Shadwell (2)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Aspire Ana Miah
Aspire Harun Miah
Conservative Tara Hussain
Conservative Daryl Stafford
Green Charlotte Nicholls
Labour Victoria Obaze
Labour Abdus Shukur
Liberal Democrats Rabina Khan * †
Liberal Democrats Simon Tunnicliffe

† Rabina Khan was elected for PATH in 2018 and defected to the Liberal Democrats.[23]

Spitalfields and Banglatown

Spitalfields and Banglatown (2)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Aspire Suluk Ahmed
Aspire Kabir Hussain
Conservative Timothy Lowe
Conservative Shamim Miah
Green Abdul Hye
Labour Shad Chowdhury*
Labour Nazma Hussain
Liberal Democrats Freda Graf
Liberal Democrats Gareth Shelton

St Dunstan's

St Dunstan's (2)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Aspire Nazir Ahmed
Aspire Juned Khan
Conservative Edward Brown
Conservative Adrian Thompson
Green Neil Thompson
Labour Maisha Begum
Labour Ayas Miah*
Liberal Democrats Farhana Akther
Liberal Democrats Mohammed Alam

St Katherine's and Wapping

St Katherine's and Wapping (2)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Aspire Khayrul Hasan
Aspire Abulkashem Helal
Conservative Jane Emmerson
Conservative Neil King
Green Oliver Barrs
Green Peter Simister
Labour Amy Lee
Labour Abdul Ullah*
Liberal Democrats Mahbub Alam
Liberal Democrats Dominic Buxton

Stepney Green

Stepney Green (2)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Aspire Abdul Ali
Aspire Shuhel Malique
Conservative Stephen Alton
Conservative Panagiotis Koutroumpis
Green Kirsty Chestnutt
Green Thomas Mackay
Labour Sabina Akhtar*
Labour Motin Uz-Zaman*
Liberal Democrats Kim Nottage
Liberal Democrats Akhlaqur Rahman


Weavers (2)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Aspire Kabir Ahmed
Aspire Fazleh Elaahi
Conservative Moulay Essaydi
Conservative Elliot Weaver
Green Katy Guttmann
Green Benjamin Hancocks
Labour Asma Islam
Labour Kevin McKenna
Liberal Democrats John Adam
Liberal Democrats Ed Long
TUSC Hugo Pierre


Whitechapel (3)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Aspire Shafi Ahmed
Aspire Kamrul Hussain
Conservative Michael Dormer
Conservative Mustafa Khan
Conservative Nikola Suica
Green Shahrar Ali
Green Samuel Roberts
Labour Faroque Ahmed*
Labour Amina Ali
Labour Shah Ameen*
Liberal Democrats Muhammad Abul Asad
Liberal Democrats Aminur Khan
Liberal Democrats Michael Robinson
Independent Shahed Ali


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