2022 Tower Hamlets Council election
← 2018 5 May 2022 2026 →

All 45 council seats
 
Leader John Biggs Peter Golds Kabir Ahmed
Party Labour Conservative Aspire
Last election 42 seats, 46.1% 2 seats, 9.9% 0 seats, 15.4%

 
Leader Rabina Khan
Party Liberal Democrats
Last election 0 seats, 8.6%

Incumbent council control


Labour



The 2022 Tower Hamlets London Borough Council election is due to take place on 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, 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.

Background

History

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]

Lutfur Rahman was the first mayor of Tower Hamlets from 2010 until he was removed from office in 2015 after being found guilty of electoral fraud
Lutfur Rahman was the first mayor of Tower Hamlets from 2010 until he was removed from office in 2015 after being found guilty of electoral fraud

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, 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, producing no overall control of the council.[10]

Labour's John Biggs was elected as mayor in the 2015 re-run election and re-elected in 2018
Labour's John Biggs was elected as mayor in the 2015 re-run election and re-elected in 2018

In 2015, Rahman was removed from office and his election was declared void after he was found guilty of electoral fraud. He was also barred from seeking re-election for five years.[11][12] Tower Hamlets First was shortly after de-registered as a political party by the Electoral Commission.[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 was 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 defected 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 candidate 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]

Croydon mayoral referendum
7 October 2021
Choice Votes %
Elected mayor
63,046 77.8
Leader-and-cabinet system 17,957 22.2
Total votes 81,003 100.00
Source: [38]

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.[39] 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.[39]

Previous council composition

After 2018 election Before 2022 election
Party Seats Party Seats
Labour 42 Labour 43
Conservative 2 Aspire 2
PATH 1 Conservative 1
Liberal Democrats 1
Independent 1

References

  1. ^ "The essential guide to London local government | London Councils". www.londoncouncils.gov.uk. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  2. ^ Manning, Luke (5 May 2006). "The battle for Tower Hamlets". the Guardian. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  3. ^ Gilligan, Andrew (17 October 2010). "Tower Hamlets extremist vote poses Ed Miliband's first big election test". Sunday Telegraph. Archived from the original on 18 October 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  4. ^ Gilligan, Andrew (11 May 2010). "Islamists are crushed in Tower Hamlets". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 13 May 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
  5. ^ "Tower Hamlets: Lutfur's Rahman removed as Labour mayoral candidate in Tower Hamlets". the Guardian. 21 September 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  6. ^ "Rahman to stand as independent in Tower Hamlets mayoral race". East London Advertiser. 23 September 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  7. ^ "Tower Hamlets: interview with independent candidate Lutfur Rahman". the Guardian. 12 October 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  8. ^ "Lutfur Rahman wins Tower Hamlets mayoral election". BBC News. 22 October 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  9. ^ "Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman re-elected". ITV News. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  10. ^ "Election results by party, 22 May 2014". democracy.towerhamlets.gov.uk. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  11. ^ Hill, Dave (12 November 2020). "Tower Hamlets: Return of Lutfur Rahman?". OnLondon. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  12. ^ "Tower Hamlets election fraud mayor Lutfur Rahman removed from office". BBC News. 23 April 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  13. ^ Brooke, Mike (29 April 2015). "Rahman's 'Tower Hamlets First' is removed from Electoral Commission's party register". East London Advertiser. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  14. ^ "Tower Hamlets mayoral election re-run hit by claims of irregularities". the Guardian. 7 June 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  15. ^ Gilligan, Andrew (1 October 2010). "Lutfur Rahman: Eleven are expelled from the Labour Party". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 3 October 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  16. ^ "Election results for Shadwell". Tower Hamlets Council. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  17. ^ "Tower Hamlets election: Labour's John Biggs named mayor". BBC News. 12 June 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  18. ^ Brooke, Mike (28 February 2018). "Electoral Commission gives People's Alliance of Tower Hamlets recognition as a political party for council election". East London Advertiser. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  19. ^ Brooke, Mike (28 February 2018). "Labour facing 2nd Tower Hamlets opposition group now recognised by Electoral Commission as 'Aspire' party". East London Advertiser. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  20. ^ Brooke, Mike (5 April 2018). "Tower Hamlets ex-mayor Lutfur Rahman endorses Aspire candidate Ohid Ahmed". East London Advertiser. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  21. ^ Brooke, Mike (4 May 2018). "ELECTION: Labour's John Biggs wins Tower Hamlets' mayor poll — double his rival's votes". East London Advertiser. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  22. ^ Grafton-Green, Chloe Chaplain, Patrick (5 May 2018). "The full list of results for London's local elections". www.standard.co.uk. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  23. ^ admin1 (29 August 2018). "Rabina Khan joins Liberal Democrats". East London News. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  24. ^ Mahmood, Basit (11 October 2018). "Tower Hamlets councillor suspended by Labour Party after sharing antisemitic posts on Facebook". East London Advertiser. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  25. ^ Editor, Dominic Kennedy, Investigations. "Labour rising star Mohammed Pappu shared antisemitic posts on Facebook". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 22 October 2021.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  26. ^ Harpin, Lee (21 November 2018). "Labour councillor says he shared antisemitic material online 'without reading it properly'". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  27. ^ Brooke, Mike (22 December 2018). "Councillor quits as Tower Hamlets launches investigation into allegations of 'housing fraud'". East London Advertiser. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  28. ^ King, Lorraine (2 January 2019). "Second Tower Hamlets councillor resigns in just 10 days". East London Advertiser. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  29. ^ "Disgraced mayor's party win Tower Hamlets by-election". BBC News. 8 February 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  30. ^ Burford, Rachael (30 January 2019). "Labour candidate 'liked' preacher who hailed Bin Laden". www.standard.co.uk. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  31. ^ King, Jon (17 February 2020). "Canary Wharf Conservative councillor quits party". East London Advertiser. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  32. ^ Brooke, By Mike (11 June 2021). "Tributes paid after Tower Hamlets councillor dies at 40". East London Advertiser. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  33. ^ a b Brooke, By Mike (13 August 2021). "Tower Hamlets by-election: Aspire wins Weavers ward from Labour". East London Advertiser. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  34. ^ Burford, Rachael (13 August 2021). "Lutfur Rahman's Aspire party wins second seat on Tower Hamlets council". www.standard.co.uk. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  35. ^ Burford, Rachael (11 November 2020). "Referendum to scrap Tower Hamlets mayor post will be held next year". www.standard.co.uk. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  36. ^ Brooke, By Mike (8 May 2021). "Tower Hamlets votes to keep directly-elected mayoral post". East London Advertiser. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  37. ^ Brooke, By Mike (21 April 2021). "Politicians join forces on referendum about Tower Hamlets mayor". East London Advertiser. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  38. ^ "Referendum results for Tower Hamlets, 6 May 2021". democracy.towerhamlets.gov.uk. 6 May 2021. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  39. ^ a b "How the elections work | London Councils". www.londoncouncils.gov.uk. Retrieved 14 September 2021.