10am–The Labour party has just lost a case in the High Court this morning. It was brought by Lutfur Rahman and Sirajul Islam over their exclusion from the shortlist for Tower Hamlets mayor.
Unbelievable as it may seem, the pair have now been reinstated and they will be on the ballot paper next Saturday, August 7.
So the man the party so hard tried to exclude from the shortlist must now be considered a strong candidate to win the nomination: it’s said that he controls some 270 votes, which is about a third of the likely electorate. If he wins that nomination, then he will be favourite for Mayor on October 21 – for, kind of a la Hartlepool, Labour could run a monkey in Tower Hamlets and it would be elected.
UPDATE – 1.15pm
A senior Labour source tells me that there was an actual court hearing before a judge, that Labour contested it, but that the judge ruled against the party. It seems that Labour offered to run the contest again, but that was dismissed by the judge. So, the party has been well and truly boxed into a corner of its own making and its members’ cries of “gross incompetence” are being bellowed around loudly around the borough. Again, I understand that Roy Kennedy’s letter, mentioned here and here.
The Tower Hamlets Labour party has for years now been in special measures: perhaps it’s time to do the same to the London region, and perhaps even the national body (given that general secretary Ray Collins is spitting feathers over the mess)!
UPDATE – 5.15pm
Voting will now take place on August 14, ie it has been delayed by a week to let people get used to the chaos. It also allows another week for Lutfur to explain what’s been going on, although my bet is he will try to take the moral high ground and say ‘Let’s draw a line under it all.’
Let the bunfight commence!