Lutfur Rahman's election agent said having the right candidate in power did not need to be achieved through "an open and transparent process".

Cllr Alibor Choudhury, who is cabinet member for resources and a member of Tower Hamlets First, made the statement while giving evidence at the High Court on Tuesday.

Mr Rahman, the current mayor of Tower Hamlets stands accused of corruption, including overseeing electoral fraud and smearing his rival, John Biggs as a racist. He denies the allegations.

In response to a question from Francis Hoar, representing the four petitioners contesting Mr Rahman's election, about Tower Hamlets being run by a single person, Mr Choudhury said: "I wouldn't like to see Robert Mugabe within Tower Hamlets, or Kim Jong-un. If it's someone that's right for the job - it doesn't have to go through this open and transparent process like they do in America."

Mr Choudhury was also questioned over whether he felt it was fair to suggest the council's grants went unfairly to Mr Rahman's "heartland" and the mayor's supporters. A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers showed 51% of grants went to three wards that strongly supported Mr Rahman.

However, Mr Choudhury disagreed with the suggestion and said it didn't matter where businesses that got grants were based as they served people outside of these areas.

The case continues.