Shock as Tower Hamlets First candidate dies

By Rob Virtue on May 21, 2014 10:21 AM |

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Tributes have been paid to an election candidate in the Blackwall and Cubitt Town ward who died on Wednesday morning.

Hifzur Rahman was a Tower Hamlets First candidate who was due to stand in Thursday's vote.

Mayor and Tower Hamlets First leader Lutfur Rahman said: "Mayor Lutfur Rahman said: "It is with the deepest sadness that I must inform local people of the death of Hifzur Rahman, Tower Hamlets First Candidate for Blackwall and Cubitt Town who passed away this morning after a heart attack.

"Hifzur worked tirelessly for the community he loved and his energy and dedication will be sorely missed by local people. Our thoughts go out to his wife and family in this very difficult time."

The Labour Party also released a statement. It said: "This is very sad news and our deepest condolences go out to all Hifzur Rahman's family and friends at this terrible time.

"Whilst we may have had our political differences, anyone who puts themselves forward to serve our community has our respect."

It is not known whether voting in the Isle of Dogs ward of Blackwall and Cubitt Town will be allowed to go ahead for local council elections.

Leader of the Conservatives in Tower Hamlets, Cllr Peter Golds said: "Tower Hamlets Conservatives were saddened to learn of the death of Hifzur Rahman, a candidate in the Blackwall and Cubitt Town ward of the borough. Our thoughts are with his family friends and colleagues at this tragic time."

UPDATE: It is understood that under Electoral Commission rules Thursday's vote in the ward will have to be cancelled and a by-election need to be held in due course.

A spokesman for the returning officer in Tower Hamlets said: "It is with sadness that we learnt that Mr Mohammed Hafizur (Hifzur) Rahman, a candidate for the local election in Blackwall and Cubitt Town ward, passed away earlier this morning. We offer our deepest condolences to his family.

"In accordance with the provisions of the Local Elections (Principal Areas) (England and Wales) Rules 2006 as amended, the local poll in Blackwall and Cubitt Town ward will no longer take place on May 22. A by-election will be held in the ward within 35 days of the original poll date.

"The Mayoral and European Parliamentary polls will still go ahead across the whole borough on May 22. Polling stations in the Blackwall and Cubitt Town Ward will display revised instructions to electors, who will be issued with ballot papers for the Mayoral and/or European Parliamentary polls as applicable only."