Tower Hamlets regains its powers two years after corruption scandal

 
Helen Cahill
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John Biggs was appointed mayor of Tower Hamlets in 2015 and has been overseeing a turnaround effort (Source: Getty)

Tower Hamlets has had most of its powers returned two years after a corruption scandal that saw its mayor, Luther Rahman, removed from office.

Today the department for communities and local government (DCLG) said that Tower Hamlets once again has power over awarding contracts and grants. DCLG also removed one of the four government-appointed commissioners that have been charged with overseeing council processes.

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Meanwhile, the council has set up a "Clear Up Team" to look into former council decision-making. In April 2015 Rahman was booted out as mayor following a High Court ruling that found him guilty of electoral fraud.

Then, in October last year, a colleague of Rahman, councillor Shahed Ali, was jailed for five months for housing fraud, after a legal battle that cost the council £70,000 in legal fees.

John Biggs, mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: "This is a real vote of confidence in the progress we have made turning the council around and putting right the mess left by the previous mayor.

"Of course there is more work to be done and I want to see full control returned to the council as soon as possible, but today's announcement shows we are on the right track and making a real difference for the people of Tower Hamlets."

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