Labour's Biggs hits back angrily at racism accusations
A race row has broken out in Tower Hamlets after Labour's candidate for mayor slammed opposition politicians who labelled him 'John Bigot'.
It came during a Twitter exchange in which it was claimed John Biggs planned to scrap the "Banglatown" ward name, an accusation the Labour politician denies.
Biggs' supporters have called the attack by supporters of current mayor Lutfur Rahman "desperate" and said they were "baseless cries of racism for political gain".
The comments on Twitter came last week between councillors Kabir Ahmed and Alibor Choudhury.
Cllr Ahmed said: "Biggs' plan starts with striping the name Banglatown (sic)". His colleague responded "it's back to John Bigot".
The Banglatown name for an area in E1 is a point of pride for the Bangladesh community.
Leader of the Labour Group in Tower Hamlets, Cllr Sirajul Islam, said: "Let's be clear about this, John Biggs is no racist. John Biggs has devoted his life to serving all the people of east London. This vicious character attack is nothing more than a desperate tactic from a party who know they are losing the battle of ideas.
"Whilst John Biggs is pledging to provide free school meals for all the borough's primary school children, all Lutfur Rahman and his supporters can do is cry wolf. Their shameful and baseless cries of racism for political gain are an insult to anyone who has actually suffered true racial abuse."
John Biggs, Labour candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: "I am extremely disappointed by this misleading, divisive, and inflammatory outburst from supporters of the current Mayor. I'm going to run the type of campaign Tower Hamlets deserves - one about ideas for how to make life in our borough better."