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Tower Hamlets intervention formally ends

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The government has formally ended its intervention in Tower Hamlets LBC.

Former communities secretary Sajid Javid in March last year said he was “minded” to revoke the 2014 direction and ended the role of the three remaining commissioners at the council.

However, Tower Hamlets was still required to submit quarterly reports to the government, but housing and communities secretary yesterday confirmed this process will now end.

A team of commissioners was first sent in to run the council under a government order issued in 2014 following a damning PwC report that found weak governance had led to it failing to comply with its best value duty.

Then in 2015 former Tower Hamlets elected mayor Lutfur Rahman (Tower Hamlets First) was ousted from his role after the election court found him “personally guilty and guilty by his agents” on two counts of corrupt practices and one count of illegal practices in the 2014 mayoral election.

Tower Hamlets chief executive Will Tuckley yesterday thanked council staff and councillors, adding: “Residents deserve a council that will work with them to create a borough that is fair, transparent and supports people to improve their lives”.

He said: “We know there is more to do but this marks an important stage on our journey of improvement.

“While Tower Hamlets is already a major part of the UK economy, there is a lot more we can achieve by working with partner organisations in the borough to create opportunities.”

Tower Hamlets’ current mayor John Biggs (Lab) said: “There is no doubt that having a mayor removed and powers limited is a traumatic experience for a council, however it was absolutely necessary.

“We have re-taken our place amongst the mainstream and begun to have our success recognised by our peers.”

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