William Eichler 30 October 2015

Control of Tower Hamlets to be passed back to the mayor

Greater responsibility for the governance of Tower Hamlets borough council will be passed to the mayor, Greg Clark announced yesterday.

The communities secretary said the government’s commissioners will no longer have the power to directly run the council, although he noted that four will remain to carry out some functions and oversee further improvements.

Last April the then-communities secretary Eric Pickles sent the commissioners in after mayor Lutfur Rahman’s election victory was declared void when he was found guilty of corrupt and illegal practices.

In a letter to Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs, Greg Clark welcomed the progress made in the council in the last six months but warned that any lapse in governance would result in the government stepping in again.

Mr Clark said: ‘I’m pleased with the progress that has been made in Tower Hamlets over the last six months, which will help restore the community’s confidence in how their area is being run.’

‘It means,’ he continued, ‘I am confident that, from this weekend, John Biggs can now be left to take on the day-to-day running of the borough as the mayor.’

‘But,’ he added, ‘our four commissioners will remain in place, and I will not hesitate to take action if progress stalls and the governance of Tower Hamlets falls short.’

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