There was a statement in the House of Commons about allegations of political corruption in Tower Hamlets. When I was a councillor in South London 20 years ago, I pledged to fight corruption in all its forms. The fight goes on.
Charlie: Some 20 years ago, I was elected to Lambeth council on a mandate to fight corruption. In that struggle, I found that it is a many-headed hydra and that these cultures are long in the making. Mayor Rahman has been running Tower Hamlets since 2008. Is it not right that there should be accounting as to how long this has been going on and how widespread the problem is?
Eric Pickes (Communities and Local Government Secretary): One certainly wants to root out corruption, no matter where it took place and how long ago—that is fundamentally important. But the priority, should I decide to act, is to give the people of Tower Hamlets the opportunity to make a proper informed decision about their council and the mayor whereby, first, their votes would count, secondly, their voices will be heard and, thirdly, fairness will be there.
It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Member of Parliament for Dover & Deal. I hope to be re-elected to serve our community for another term.
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