The Enquirer has learned that one of Lutfur Rahman’s key supporters, Maium Miah, has this week been spotted on the Isle of Dogs collecting postal ballots from residents. Which is not a smart thing to do. The governance referendum to decide on keeping the directly elected executive Mayor system is to be held on 6th May.
Lutfur Rahman is back
It is widely known that Lutfur Rahman is leading the campaign to retain the executive Mayor system and, if that is the referendum result, he will no doubt run as a Mayoral candidate at the next election.
Please remember that Lutfur Rahman has every right to do so. At the conclusion of the Electoral Petition in 2015 he was banned from seeking electoral office for five years. He has done his time. That is how the law works.
Alibor Choudury is back
What is less widely known is that it seems that Alibor Choudury, Lutfur’s right hand man and his Cabinet Member for Resources in his administration is also back on the Tower Hamlets political scene.
The Enquirer has seen messages from Alibor commenting on local political personalities sent in the last 24 hours.
This is of major significance because Alibor, the brightest and most amenable of all Lutfur’s colleagues, completely disappeared from the radar after he was found guilty with Lutfur at the High Court and also banned from seeking office for five years.
Not a peep has been heard of him since then. Until now.
The Enquirer has no idea where he has been or what he has been up to but knowing Alibor he has been doing it extremely well.
And so to electoral fraud.
In previous years a standard tactic for those who wished to rig an election in Tower Hamlets was to systematically work their way through the electoral role and knock on the doors of specific residents who would be asked if they had submitted their postal ballot yet? If the answer was no the resident would be asked to get their ballot paper and they would be asked to vote and sign the ballot paper and hand it over.
Job done. Now imagine this happening across Tower Hamlets with organisation that any army would be proud of.
Is electoral fraud back?
Talking to one of our most reliable sources this afternoon they mentioned in passing that Maium Miah Talukdar, one of Lutfur Rahman’s longest standing lieutenants, has been doing exactly this on the Isle of Dogs.
We asked questions as to exactly what was going on and it seems Maium has allegedly been a busy boy.
He has allegedly been seen to knock on specific doors, asks if ballot had been posted and if not asks the resident to vote for referendum Option 1 to retain the Mayoral system, gets the ballot signed then takes it away with for safe delivery.
Can the Enquirer prove this? No. Will the eye witness make a statement to the police? Not in a million years.
However if you have witnessed any similar incidents please get in touch with the Enquirer email@example.com – discretion guaranteed.
Will the real Maium Miah please stand up?
Maium Miah Talukdar is a name unfamiliar to many. The name Maium Miah is very familiar to anyone who follows local politics on the Isle of Dogs, his twitter handle is @MaiumMiah. (Well, it is at the moment.)
Maium Miah Talukdar is of course Maium Miah. What’s with the name change Maium?
His current identity crisis could be linked to his main and probably only claim to fame which is that he was elected as a Conservative councillor in Tower Hamlets then in 2011 woke up one morning in and realised he was in fact a Tower Hamlets First person! A mistake anyone could make.
Then he joined Lutfur’s Aspire Party. And he was an Independent councillor before that. Or is that the other way around Maium Miah / Muhammed Maium Miah / Maium Miah Talukdar?
Maium Miah Talukdar is currently Director of St. Johns (Isle of Dogs) Community Association (07550340) and the Docklands Sailing Centre Trust according to Companies House.
Maium Miah also had a walk on part during the Election Petition of 2015 that saw his bosses kicked out of office. A central part of the prosecution evidence was of the corrupt allegation of grants and Cllr. Maium Miah was Chairman of the Corporate Grants Programme Board but testified that his only role was to chair the meeting and the decisions were left to others. Here is an extract from the court’s judgement.
Extracts from Tower Hamlets Election Petition Judgement April 23rd 2015
Evidence was given on this topic by Mr Rahman, Mr Choudhury, Councillor Asad and Councillor Mahum Miah. Mr Miah was ostensibly the Chairman of the Corporate Grants Programme Board (CGPB). His evidence was that he regarded his function as simply that of chairing the meeting. He claims to have taken no real part in any decision making and left everything to other people (usually Mr Choudhury). Mr Miah was not an impressive witness. When Mr Hoar opened his case, he stated that the allegations of malpractice against Mr Miah were so grave that, if they were established, it would be necessary formally to name him in the report. Having seen Mr Miah and having heard his evidence, it is clear that he is not (whatever he may feel) a major player in the Mayor’s inner circle. He struck the court as a man who would essentially do what he was told by anyone with a stronger character than himself. While the allocation of grants that occurred under this supposed chairmanship was certainly grossly improper and possibly (the court does not need to decide this) unlawful under local authority law, he seems merely to have nodded the decisions through without making any waves.Mawrey judgement
“66 – you can’t use my pics!”
Lutfur and his friends have been up to other tried and tested tricks too. Early today we published a variety of campaign literature from the ‘Keep the Mayoral system’ group including a bingo card style flyer of various mates.
Top left of the flyer is Lutfur’s long time political ally Ken Livingstone, then Dabirul Islam Choudhury, the 101-year-old local legend who, inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore, walked 50 laps of his garden everyday while fasting for Ramadan Amazing. He raised over £420,000 for charity and was awarded an OBE.
Next to Mr Choudhury is Baroness Uddin then the usual line up.
The Enquirer understands that the photograph of Dabirul Islam Choudhury was used without his permission.
His son Atique has since written to Lutfur’s team and asked for the photo to be removed from the campaign material.
Moley has the feeling there may be a lot more on this subject during the next few days. Come back soon!
Note: We would like to be able to say that we have, as is normal journalistic practice, put all the above to Lutfur Rahman, Alibor Choudhury and Maium Miah but unfortunately attempts to contact them have failed. If they would like to provide us with their comments we would be more than happy to consider it for publication subject to normal editorial rules.
Related Internet Links
- Cllr Peter Golds: How the Metropolitan Police and the Electoral Commission turned a blind eye to fraud in Tower Hamlets – Conservative Home
- Lutfur Rahman faces full inquiry into contested victory – ITV News
- Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman accused of ‘corrupt’ practices – BBC News
- Securing the ballot – Report of Sir Eric Pickles’ review into electoral fraud
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As community journalists we do exactly what it says on our tin – we work for the community.
In Tower Hamlets, which covers most of London’s East End, that means we spend a lot of time investigating allegations of political corruption.
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