A veteran member of Labour’s National Executive Committee has been suspended from the party for publicly supporting the disgraced former mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman.
Christine Shawcroft is facing disciplinary action after defending Mr Rahman in the High Court, where he was found guilty of “corrupt and illegal practices” and, after the verdict, when she decided to act as a trustee for his legal defence fund.
Ms Shawcroft, a NEC member for 15 years, is a former leader of Tower Hamlets Labour but took to stand to denounce Mr Rahman’s Labour rival John Biggs, accusing him of making racially insensitive remarks, a claim dismissed by the judge.
She also revealed details of the NEC’s dealings with Mr Rahman in 2010 when he was suspended from the party following allegations of electoral fraud. The rift prompted Mr Rahman to stand, and win, as an independent in the first Tower Hamlets mayoral elections.
Judge Richard Mawrey in the High Court also highlighted the NEC’s actions saying the Labour Party’s actions were “utterly shameful”.
Ms Shawcroft told a recent rally of Rahman hardliners: “The sound of a lack evidence base, the factual inaccuracies, the dangerous claims made about British Muslims and the powers given to the state to intervene in elections set a disturbing precedent.”
Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who has also been vocal in his support for Mr Rahman, faces no action.