Peter Golds: Why the waste of money?
By Peter Golds
After two convictions for benefit fraud and an ongoing investigation for illegal subletting, Shelina Akhtar is no longer a Tower Hamlets councillor.
Her seat was declared vacant when she declined to appeal against her prison sentence. However, she continued to be paid a council allowance while in Holloway.
Spitalfields ward will now have the opportunity to elect a new councillor.
However, the election will be held just before the mayoral election, thereby costing additional money.
Perhaps our mayor and his supporters will explain the reason for this latest waste of our money, which would be saved if there were a combined poll?
■ It is safe to say that when a candidate has been in politics for four decades long forgotten speeches can come back to bite.
The London mayoral election has seen Labour's Ken Livingstone haunted by recent speeches as well as previous actions.
It may have impressed a certain audience to call for the vote to be withdrawn for those not paying full tax on all income.
Unfortunately, if at the same time, you are funnelling a substantial income into a company to reduce your personal tax burden, which is exactly what Mr Livingstone has been doing, then it is difficult to avoid the label of hypocrite, which is how the New Statesman has described him.
■ Peter Golds is Conservative councillor for Blackwall & Cubitt Town