“Lutfur Rahman: a defence based on lies”, the Telegraph’s part-time “London editor”, Andrew “transcription error” Gilligan told his readers yesterday, laying into the deeply subversive Guardian for the heinous sin of publishing an opinion piece without consulting Himself Personally Now. Gilligan accusing others of lying, while basking in the glow from his burning trousers, is a not uncommon occurrence.
Perhaps Andy has already forgotten his observations on the elections in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, a favourite target for his obsessive seeking out of Scary Muslims, and particularly his pursuit of elected – and now re-elected – Mayor Lutfur Rahman. Let me remind him of the title of that article: “‘Stolen election’ in the heart of London”. The quotation marks, as I’ll show, were well-merited.
Gilligan fixes on Labour candidate Sanu Miah: “In the recount, his vote dropped by a quarter from 2,270 to 1,722 and he fell from first place to sixth. Two of the three seats in his ward went to Mr Rahman’s Tower Hamlets First party”. And the recount, Gilligan tells readers, had been ordered personally by Rahman. There can be only one conclusion, that something irregular had gone on.
However, and with Gilligan’s pursuit of Rahman there is inevitably a however, his own narrative contains a get-out clause: “One of Mr Miah’s opponents had the same surname: the counters could have got them mixed up”. Gilligan also deploys the tried and trusted Postal Votes fraud allegation frightener, before once again conceding “No evidence links any of this to Mr Rahman at this election”.
But let me put Mr Transcription Error straight: looking over at Ted Jeory’s blog, and this is someone who is often critical of Lutfur Rahman, the keywords are “shambles” and “incompetence”, rather than any allegation of fraud. “There will be many reasons for the counting shambles of the past few days, but the most basic is that we have a dysfunctional local authority at a political level”, he tells.
Jeory’s answer is to ask that Rahman makes “a call for reconciliation, a plea for everyone to work together to draw the poison from Tower Hamlets politics”. And he has hosted a guest post by former Labour Councillor Carlo Gibbs, who was defeated in the St Peter’s ward of the Borough. He tells that the elections “were free and fair and conducted under the most intense scrutiny”.
Moreover, he emphasises “While there may be complaints about intimidation at polling stations and elsewhere, and any evidence should be looked at and referred to the appropriate authorities, this would not have shifted 3500 votes towards John Biggs or 174 to me in my ward”. Gilligan should put up his evidence to the relevant authorities, or concede that he is just shit-stirring and hearsay mongering.
And do something for the capital’s cyclists for that bung Bozza is giving him.