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Mayoral candidate's 'extremist' links

    Councillor Lutfur Rahman
    Councillor Lutfur Rahman

    A man who allegedly has connections with an Islamic fundamentalist group is in the running to become the first directly-elected mayor of Tower Hamlets.

    Councillor Lutfur Rahman, who represents the borough’s Spitalfields and Banglatown ward, has been nominated as Labour’s candidate for the executive mayor position.

    Mr Rahman has faced scrutiny in the past following claims that he is linked with the fundamentalist Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE), which operates from the East London mosque.

    The IFE is a radical group with the aim of transforming the “very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order…from ignorance to Islam.”

    In March he was the subject of a Channel 4 Dispatches investigation into the influence of the IFE on politics in east London.

    The programme claimed that his links with the radical group had helped him become the Labour leader of Tower Hamlets council.

    Mr Rahman denied that any external organisation influenced the Labour group, but has not conclusively denied an affiliation with the IFE.

    Following the Dispatches programme he was ousted as leader in May 2010 and the Tower Hamlets Labour Party tried to prevent him from running in the mayoral contest, but backed down after a court case.

    Tower Hamlets will vote for the mayor in October.

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