Tower Hamlets Labour Party has selected a prospective candidate to fill the gap left by Councillor Shelina Akhtar following her conviction for fraud in February.
Former Spitalfields councillor and community activist Ala Uddin will run for Labour if a by-election is called because of Akhtar’s absence.
Akhtar was last month convicted of three counts of benefit fraud; she pleaded guilty and is currently serving a 16-week prison sentence.
Should Akhtar not appeal her sentence by March 6, she will no longer be eligible to serve as councillor and a by-election will be called for the Spitalfields and Banglatown ward.
Uddin is a local resident and sits on the board of the Spitalfields Housing Association. He said he was “proud and honoured” by the nomination and that local people were being “let down” by Akhtar and Mayor Luftur Rahman.
“Any by-election will be a tough fight, but the people of Spitalfields deserve better and I look forward to fighting hard to win this seat for Labour and to representing the people of Spitalfields as they should be,” he added.
Joshua Peck, Labour concillor for Bow West, said Spitalfields had “some of the biggest challenges” in the borough.
“Every street and every households deserves the attention and commitment for their councillor,” he said, “Ala is a man of experience and is a fighter who will work hard every day for every resident of Spitalfields.”
The Labour Party in Tower Hamlets would likely campaigning for a possible by-election to take place on May 3, coinciding with the London Mayor election. Mayor Luftur Rahman’s supporters have backed an April 26 by-election, which Labour claims would produce a lower turnout and increase the chances for Rahman’s preferred candidate, independent Gulam Rohannis.