BREAKING: Lutfur Ali resigns from Tower Hamlets Council

Shiraz Maher

News reaches me from an impeccable source that Lutfur Ali, assistant chief executive of Tower Hamlets council, has just resigned.

Ali has been under considerable pressure in recent weeks after an investigation by Andrew Gilligan found that a group of headhunters appointed by the council to assess candidates had described Ali as ‘superficial’, ‘rather limited’, and ‘one-dimensional’. They also said that he might ‘struggle with the intellectual challenges [of] a highly strategic role’.

Before joining the council Ali had been forced to stand down from his post at the London Fire Authority after breaching rules on political neutrality. He omitted this from his application to Tower Hamlets council.

Despite his shortcomings, just how did Ali get this job — the second most powerful in Tower Hamlets council — and the salary of £125,000 that comes with it? Gilligan reports:

Luckily, though, [Ali] did have what was almost certainly a more important qualification — close links to the IFE. He set up an organisation called the Centre for Muslim Affairs with a number of IFE and IFE-linked figures.

Gilligan forensically studied and dissected the growing influence of IFE activists in Tower Hamlets for many months. His revelations almost certainly precipitated Ali’s departure. This is a massive blow to the IFE and their ambitions.

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