I’m told these are the results for the Weavers by-election in Tower Hamlets:
John Pierce (Labour) 1544
Abjol MIah (Lutfur Respect) 1260
Caroline Kerswell (Conservative) 415
Alan Duffell (Green) 373
Azizur Rahman Khan (Lib Dem) 208
If so, big sigh of relief for Labour, a pretty good performance for the Greens, yet another disaster for the Lib Dems and a very strong showing by Lutfur’s Independents/Respect in what should have been a Labour walkover.
Labour will take heart from this and it maintains their strategic control over the full council. If they’d lost Josh Peck’s leadership of the group would have been questioned far more.
If Ken Livingstone loses tonight, expect to see the likes of Oli Rahman, Shahed Ali and Rania Khan being tempted to rejoin Labour. Labour will want to see this as the beginning of the end for Lutfur. Long, long way to go though…
UPDATE – 1pm
Labour group leader Josh Peck tells me via Twitter: “Oliur and Rania will never rejoin the Labour Group under my leadership – nor will any of the others. I never mourned their loss!” He added later that the sentiment also applies to Shahed Ali, Abdul Asad, Rofique Ahmed. This is where we might see the lines being drawn for a potential challenge to his leadership next week.