Last night, I heard from a senior Labour activist that Ken Livingstone, the failed Mayoral candidate, had proposed to Labour’s NEC that Lutfur Rahman, the Islamic Forum Europe (“IFE”) backed mayor of Tower Hamlets, should be readmitted to the Labour Party.
The proposal was unanimously rejected.
Andrew Gilligan has the story:
“Ken was ridiculed,” says my informant. “People were laughing out loud. He had absolutely no support whatever for his proposal, not even from the likes of [hard-left MP] Dennis Skinner.”
Labour is a national political party, and its interests do not lie in alliances with politicians with links to far Right extremist south Asian groups. The IFE is a group which was founded by Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, a former death squad commander in a Jamaat-e-Islami militia, who faces accusations of involvement in the kidnap and murder of Bangladeshis. Labour needs no alliances with such people, to win elections.
In fact, as the outcome of the London Mayoral elections, it is a strategy which will keep Labour out of power. Ken Livingstone thinks otherwise: but then, he lost the election.
Also see Ted Jeory’s excellent write up of the situation in LBTH.