John Biggs has been selected as the Labour candidate in the upcoming Tower Hamlets Mayoral Election.
Biggs, who is currently in his fourth term as London Assembly Member for City and East, was chosen by members of the Tower Hamlets Labour Party on Saturday to take on Lutfur Rahman for control of the £1.2bn budget.
Following the selection, Biggs said: “Only Labour is on the side of ordinary people in Tower Hamlets and only Labour has a credible plan to tackle the housing crisis in the borough and attract the jobs and investment we desperately need in Tower Hamlets.
“Over the next 12 months in the run-up to the elections, we will work hard to unite every community across Tower Hamlets, expose the failings of the current Mayor and deliver our message of hope to every voter in Tower Hamlets.”
Biggs has received endorsements from the borough’s Labour Party leader, Councillor Joshua Peck, as well as from Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse.
Of the incumbent Mayor Lutfur Rahman, Biggs said that he had not done “particularly well” at meeting the needs of the Tower Hamlets community.
Biggs, one-time leader of Tower Hamlets Council, was short-listed for selection as Labour’s candidate in the borough’s first mayoral election in 2010, but came second to Lutfur Rahman.
Labour then dropped Rahman as a candidate in the election due to allegations of links with a radical Islamic group and replaced him with Helal Uddin Abbas. After Rahman was expelled from the Labour Party, he went on to win the race as an independent with the endorsement of the Respect Party.
Following the April and May 2012 by-elections, 154 allegations of electoral fraud were made against Tower Hamlets Council. However, the Metropolitan Police recently concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support the claims.
The mayoral election will be held in May 2014.