One of the four election petitioners who brought down Lutfur Rahman has urged the Information Commissioner to think again about a decision to end an investigation into an alleged data theft.
It has been claimed that Tower Hamlets First, Mr Rahman’s party, now disbanded, got hold of names, address and mobile phone numbers apparently from the database of Tower Hamlets Homes (THH) – the organisation set up to to run the borough’s 21,000 council homes – and used them to drum up support for Rabina Khan.
She was the THF candidate for the vacancy of mayor in the re-run election after Mr Rahman was removed from office.
Tenants with no connection to the party received text messages seeking support for Ms Khan, according to activist Mark Baynes , who was handed THF canvassers sheets which included tenants’ details.
The Information Commissioner’s Office was asked to look into the breach by THH’s solicitors and concluded: “We have completed our investigation and will not be taking any further action.”
Now Andy Erlam, who brought the petition that saw the election overturned, has urged the ICO to reverse the decision saying: “I ask you to reverse your decision and to ask for the help of the police, the Commissioners supervising the council and the current elected mayor of Tower Hamlets to get to the bottom of the mass abuse of personal data and the implied threats to residents by its abuse.
“Tower Hamlets has been run by gangsters. We need your help to bring that to an end and to prevent it ever happening again.”