How much humiliation can a man take? I ask because last night it became clear that yet a third attempt by Lutfur Rahman, the fundamentalist-linked councillor who is seeking to become Labour’s candidate for the powerful directly-elected mayoralty of Tower Hamlets, had been crushed.
Lutfur’s powerful friends – of whom more later – have been angling to get him back on the mayoral shortlist after he was twice excluded by the party amid deep concerns about his links with the fundamentalist Islamic Forum of Europe.
Yesterday, Lutfur even held a press conference and issued a suspiciously expensive-looking glossy leaflet to announce the joyous news that he’d made it back on to the list. Oh no, he hadn’t. Labour spokesmen last night insisted that the shortlist remains as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be – Lutfur-free.
Lutfur’s and his allies’ absurd manoeuvrings have succeeded only in making him, and the Labour Party, look ridiculous. What next for the great man? Does he stand as an independent? Or does he stand in front of the Town Hall like Bonnie Prince Charlie and proclaim himself the true king of Tower Hamlets?