Labour's Biggs to run for Tower Hamlets Mayor?

By Rob Virtue on January 21, 2013 11:28 AM |

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London Assembly member John Biggs has revealed for the first time he is considering standing for election as the next Tower Hamlets mayor.

It comes just a day after Mr Biggs was given backing for the role by Josh Peck, Leader of the Labour Group in the borough.

And in a column written for an upcoming edition of The Wharf, Mr Biggs hinted he was considering taking on the challenge.

"People often look in the New Year for a new job," wrote the London Assembly Member for City and East.

"I've seen that things are hotting up for the next election for a Mayor in Tower Hamlets. Now that would be an interesting challenge..... Maybe I'll throw my hat in the ring!"

Mr Biggs, a former leader of Tower Hamlets Council, has been at City Hall since 2000.

He previously went for the top job in the borough's first ever mayoral election in 2010 but came second to Rahman in the Labour vote.

However, the party decided to drop Rahman as its candidate and replaced him with third placed Helal Uddin Abbas.

It came following allegations Rahman had close links to an Islamic fundamentalist group, which he denied.

Following a bitter election campaign, Rahman, then standing as an independent, went on to win with over 50 per cent of the vote.

Labour will be hoping for a smoother run up to next year's election, scheduled for May 1, and Mr Biggs is emerging as the favoured candidate.

On Sunday, Councillor Peck backed Mr Biggs for the role in a press release which said he was also standing down from his role as the Tower Hamlets Labour leader as he and his partner were adopting a child.

"I will be backing John Biggs, our GLA member, who I have known and worked alongside for over 15 years," said Councillor Peck.

"He is by far the most experienced candidate, with a track record of delivering success for the party, for example in winning the Council back from the Liberal Democrats, in fighting the BNP and in a whole range of housing and transport campaigns.

"He also has a strong record of serving the people of our borough with total integrity and commitment, in a way that has built respect for him across our community."

Mr Biggs has until February 22 to make a decision on whether he wants to stand. The Labour Party will make its final selection this summer.