Tower Hamlets London Borough Council
Coat of arms of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.svg
Coat of arms
Lb tower hamlets.svg
Council logo
Founded1 April 1965
Preceded byBethnal Green Borough Council
Poplar Borough Council
Stepney Borough Council
New session started
3 May 2018 (Municipal year 2018/19)
Lutfur Rahman, Aspire
since 5 May 2022
Victoria Obaze
since May 2019
Chief executive
Will Tuckley
since 27 August 2015
Seats45 councillors
Tower Hamlets London Borough Council 2022.svg
Council political groups
Executive (24)
  •   Aspire (24)

Opposition (21)

Length of term
Executive mayor elected every four years
Whole council elected every four years
Supplementary vote
Council last election
5 May 2022
Council next election
Meeting place
Tower Hamlets Town Hall 2015-06-19 02.jpg
Town Hall, Mulberry Place
(the council is due to move to the Whitechapel Civic Centre in 2022)[1]
Council constitution

Tower Hamlets London Borough Council is the local authority for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in Greater London, England. The council is unusual in that its executive function is controlled by a directly elected mayor of Tower Hamlets, currently Lutfur Rahman.

Following the May 2014 election, Tower Hamlets London Borough Council was composed of 22 Labour Party members, 19 Tower Hamlets First members and 5 Conservative Party members.[2] Following the removal of Lutfur Rahman as mayor and Alibor Choudhury as councillor, Tower Hamlets First was removed from the Electoral Commission register of political parties, with Labour's Sabina Akhtar replacing Choudhury as councillor for Stepney Green and John Biggs replacing Rahman as Mayor, following the by-elections in June 2015.[3][4] Lutfur Rahman was again elected as Mayor in the 2022 London Borough elections, beating incumbent Labour Mayor John Biggs.[5]

The council was created by the London Government Act 1963 and replaced three local authorities: Bethnal Green Metropolitan Borough Council, Poplar Metropolitan Borough Council and Stepney Metropolitan Borough Council.


There have previously been a number of local authorities responsible for the Tower Hamlets area. The current local authority was first elected in 1964, a year before formally coming into its powers and prior to the creation of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets on 1 April 1965. Tower Hamlets London Borough Council replaced Bethnal Green Metropolitan Borough Council, Poplar Metropolitan Borough Council and Stepney Metropolitan Borough Council. All three had been created in 1900, in Bethnal Green the borough council replaced the parish vestry and in Poplar the council replaced the board of works; both authorities had been incorporated by the Metropolis Management Act 1855. Stepney had a more convoluted history with the metropolitan borough council established in 1900 replacing the Limehouse District Board of Works, the Whitechapel District Board of Works and the parish vestries of Mile End Old Town and St George in the East.[6]

It was envisaged that through the London Government Act 1963 Tower Hamlets as a London local authority would share power with the Greater London Council. The split of powers and functions meant that the Greater London Council was responsible for "wide area" services such as fire, ambulance, flood prevention, and refuse disposal; with the local authorities responsible for "personal" services such as social care, libraries, cemeteries and refuse collection. This arrangement lasted until 1986 when Tower Hamlets London Borough Council gained responsibility for some services that had been provided by the Greater London Council, such as waste disposal. Tower Hamlets became an education authority in 1990. Since 2000 the Greater London Authority has taken some responsibility for highways and planning control from the council, but within the English local government system the council remains a "most purpose" authority in terms of the available range of powers and functions.[7]

In September 2008, Tower Hamlets London Borough Council named two tower blocks in Sidney Street Peter House and Painter House, even though Peter the Painter was only involved in a minor capacity in the robbery, was not present at the siege of Sidney Street, and may not have existed at all. A local councillor and the Metropolitan Police Federation protested against this, saying that he should not be honoured.[8]

Following a local referendum on 6 May 2010, a directly elected executive mayor system of local government commenced with the election on 21 October 2010 of Lutfur Rahman as mayor. Rahman was re-elected at the 2014 mayoral election, but the result of this election was cancelled and declared null and void on 23 April 2015 when the Election Court officially reported Rahman to be guilty of corrupt or illegal practices, or both (electoral fraud) under the Representation of the People Act 1983.[9][10] He was thus removed from his office with immediate effect and was also personally debarred from standing for elected office until 2021.[11][12] A BBC article in 2018 stated that "Police investigating electoral fraud during the 2014 Tower Hamlets mayoral election have not found sufficient evidence to charge anyone".[13]

Powers and functions

The local authority derives its powers and functions from the London Government Act 1963 and subsequent legislation, and has the powers and functions of a London borough council. It sets council tax and as a billing authority also collects precepts for Greater London Authority functions and business rates.[14] It sets planning policies which complement Greater London Authority and national policies, and decides on almost all planning applications accordingly. It is a local education authority and is also responsible for council housing, social services, libraries, waste collection and disposal, traffic, and most roads and environmental health.[15]


From 1986 to 1994 the council experimented with decentralisation of services to seven neighbourhood areas.[16]

Summary results of elections

Main article: Tower Hamlets local elections

Previous election results are as follows:

Election Overall control Conservative Labour Lib Dem Others
2022[17] Aspire 1 19 25
2018[18] Labour 2 42 1
2014 No overall control 5 22 18
2010 Labour 8 41 1 1
2006 Labour 7 26 6 12
2002 Labour 35 16
1998 Labour 41 9
1994 Labour 43 7
1990 Liberal Democrat 20 30
1986 Liberal/SDP Alliance 24 26
1982 Labour 31 18 1
1978 Labour 43 7
1974 Labour 60
1971 Labour 60
1968 Labour 57 3
1964 Labour 55 5

List of councillors

The councillors before and after the 2022 elections were as follows:[19]

Ward Councillor
until May 2022
Notes Councillor
from May 2022
Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman Aspire
Bethnal Green East Ahbab Hossain Rebaka Sultana Labour
Sirajul Islam Statutory Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing Sirajul Islam Labour
Eve McQuillan Mayoral Advisor for Tackling Poverty & Inequality Ahmodul Kabir Aspire
Bethnal Green West
(formerly St Peter's)
Kevin Brady Musthak Ahmed Aspire
Tarik Khan Majority Group Whip Abu Talha Chowdhury Aspire
Gabriela Salva Macallan Miraj Amin Rahman Aspire
Blackwall & Cubitt Town Ehtasham Haque Ahmodur Rahman Khan Aspire
Mohammed Pappu Abdul Malik Aspire
Candida Roland Cabinet Member for Resources and the Voluntary Sector Muhammad Bellal Uddin Aspire
Bow East Amina Ali Cabinet Member for Culture, Arts and Brexit Amina Ali Labour
Rachel Nancy Blake Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Air Quality Rachel Nancy Blake Labour
Marc Francis Marc Francis Labour
Bow West Asma Begum Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Equalities Asma Begum Labour
Val Whitehead Nathalie Sylvia Bienfait Green
Bromley North Zenith Rahman Muhammad Saif Uddin Khaled Aspire
Dan Tomlinson Abdul Mannan Aspire
Bromley South Danny Hassell Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Young People Bodruf Islam Choudhury Aspire
Helal Uddin Shahaveer Hussain Labour
Canary Wharf Kyrsten Perry Saled Ahmed Aspire
Andrew Wood Leader of the Conservative Group; resigned in 2020.[20] Mohammad Maium Miah Talukdar Aspire
Island Gardens Mufeedah Bustin Mufeedah Bustin Labour
Peter Stacey Golds Peter Stacey Golds Conservative
Lansbury Kahar Chowdhury Abul Monsur Ohid Ahmed Aspire
Muhammad Harun Jahed Choudhury Aspire
Bex White Iqbal Hossain Aspire
Limehouse James Robert Venables King James Robert Venables King Labour
Mile End David Edger Cabinet Member for Environment Leelu Ahmed Labour
Asam Islam Mayoral Advisor for Young People Mohammad Saifur Rahman Chowdhury Labour
Puru Miah Sabina Khan Labour
Poplar Sufia Alam Gulam Kibria Choudhury Aspire
Shadwell Ruhul Amin Cabinet Member for Environment Ana Miah Aspire
Rabina Khan Elected as People's Alliance of Tower Hamlets;
switched to the Liberal Democrats in August 2018
Mohammad Harun Miah Aspire
Spitalfields & Banglatown Shad Chowdhury Sulik Ahmed Aspire
Leema Qureshi Kabir Hussain Aspire
St Dunstan's Dipa Das Maisha Fahmida Begum Labour
Ayas Miah Speaker of the Council Ayas Miah Labour
St Katharine's & Wapping Denise Jones Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing Amy Louise Lee Labour
Abdal Ullah Abdal Ullah Labour
Stepney Green Sabina Akhtar Mayoral Advisor for Community & Voluntary Sector Sabina Akhtar Labour
Motin Uz-Zaman Cabinet Member for Work and Economic Growth Mohammed Abdul Wahid Ali Aspire
Weavers Abdul Mukit MBE Kabir Ahmed Aspire
John Pierce Asma Islam Labour
Whitechapel Faroque Mahfuz Ahmed Faroque Mahfuz Ahmed Labour
Shah Ameen Shafi Uddin Ahmed Aspire
Victoria Obaze Mohammed Kamrul Hussain Aspire

See also


  1. ^ "Bouygues starts Tower Hamlets town hall project". Construction Index. 21 February 2019. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  2. ^ "Local Elections – Thursday, 22nd May, 2014". Tower Hamlets Council. 4 July 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Stepney Green – Thursday, 11th June, 2015". Tower Hamlets Council. 12 June 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Tower Hamlets election: Labour's John Biggs named mayor - BBC News". Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Lutfur Rahman wins Tower Hamlets mayor vote after five-year ban". The Guardian. 6 May 2022. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  6. ^ Youngs, Frederic (1979). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England. Vol. I: Southern England. London: Royal Historical Society. ISBN 0-901050-67-9.
  7. ^ Leach, Steve (1998). Local Government Reorganisation: The Review and its Aftermath. Routledge. p. 107. ISBN 978-0714648590.
  8. ^ Cockcroft, Lucy (25 September 2008). "Tower Blocks Named after Notorious Criminal Linked to Police Killings". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 19 March 2016.
  9. ^ Tom Whitehead (23 April 2015). "Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman guilty of corrupt and illegal practices over election". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  10. ^ Parliament of the United Kingdom (8 February 1983), The Representation of the People Act 1983, Chapter 2 (as amended on the 23rd. July 2015), Part III, Section 159, London: The National Archives, Ministry of Justice, HM Government, retrieved 23 July 2015
  11. ^ Tower Hamlets election fraud mayor Lutfur Rahman removed from office, BBC News, British Broadcasting Corporation, 23 April 2015, retrieved 25 July 2015
  12. ^ Mike Brooke (29 April 2015), Rahman's 'Tower Hamlets First' is removed from Electoral Commission's party register, The Docklands and East London Advertiser, retrieved 25 July 2015
  13. ^ "No charges after Tower Hamlets electoral fraud probe". 7 September 2018 – via
  14. ^ "Council Tax and Business Rates Billing Authorities". Council Tax Rates. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  15. ^ "Local Plan Responses – within and outside London". Mayor of London. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  16. ^ Dench, Geoff (2006). The new East End : kinship, race and conflict. London: Profile. ISBN 1861979282.
  17. ^ "Local Elections - Thursday, 5th May, 2022". Tower Hamlets London Borough Council.
  18. ^ "Tower Hamlets London Borough Council". BBC News.
  19. ^ "Mayor and Councillors". Tower Hamlets Council. Retrieved 29 August 2018. and 8 May 2022.
  20. ^ Jon King. "Tory councillor quits party over Brexit and Westferry Printworks scheme". East London Advertiser. Retrieved 29 May 2020.