AS THE NEWS broke that Cllr Rachael Saunders had resigned as Deputy Mayor, Cllr Ohid Ahmed has criticised Labour Mayor John Biggs for weak leadership. “Within six months, two female Deputy Mayor have left the Biggs Administration,” said Cllr Ahmed. “This is yet another indictment of Biggs’s failing and weak leadership. Labour is failing Tower Hamlets, while residents continue to suffer.”
Cllr Ahmed, who currently represents Lansbury ward and who will be the Independent Group’s Mayoral candidate in May 2018, pointed out that both he and the Leader of the Independent Group, Cllr Oli Rahman, had called for Cllr Saunders to resign after the shock Ofsted Report published in April. The Report singled her out for failing to attend Safeguarding Board meetings. Both councillors felt strongly that Cllr Saunders was letting the Borough’s children down – and should be held to account.
Cllr Ahmed said, “We have consistently warned that the incompetence, brutal choices of cuts and lack of leadership under this failed Labour Mayor will harm the community and welfare of our most vulnerable in Tower Hamlets. It is astonishing that the failed Labour Mayor did not have the courage to ask Cllr Saunders to step down earlier – as we called for – despite the shocking failures identified by Ofsted.”
Cllr Ohid Ahmed added that many of the improvements in Mile End ward, which Cllr Saunders often referred to, were carried out by Lutfur Rahman’s Administration. He believed that she often tried to claim the credit for advances in Mile End ward, which she represents, which came about because of the hard work of the first directly elected mayor – not the second. “St Paul’s Way new school; the school expansions under the Building Schools for the Future programme; the start of the new GP surgery; the new Leopold Estate and the social housing on Burdett Estate; Turners Road, Salmon Lane and Burdett Road mosques – these all happened during Lutfur Rahman’s Administrations,” said Cllr Ahmed.
Cllr Rachael Saunders in shock resignation