Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Death Threat' in Council Chamber; Police Summoned as Screams Heard at Tower Hamlets Meeting; Councillor Held in Olympic Borough Town Hall Clash

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Death Threat' in Council Chamber; Police Summoned as Screams Heard at Tower Hamlets Meeting; Councillor Held in Olympic Borough Town Hall Clash

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Dominiczak and Rob Parsons

A LONDON councillor has been arrested for allegedly threatening to kill a rival in a packed town hall chamber.

The Labour politician was seized following the extraordinary confrontation last night with a woman councillor in the Olympic borough of Tower Hamlets.

Screams were heard coming from the town hall as the midnight debate descended into a "violent fracas".

Kosru Uddin, 45, is said to have made death threats to Rania Khan, a supporter of Independent mayor Lutfur Rahman. Mr Uddin was still in custody today. One source, who was present at the meeting, said: "There was violence. It was just chaos."

The clash is the latest political crisis to hit Tower Hamlets -- dogged by allegations of voter fraud and claims that Mr Rahman is linked to groups supporting extremism.

It erupted at about 11.35pm after the chamber had been cleared of the public and press. One eyewitness said today it started when Ms Khan referred to Mr Uddin as a "chamcha" -- a Bengali word which translates as spoon but is used to mean lackey or lickspittle.

Mr Uddin is then said to have had an angry confrontation in the council chamber with Ms Khan's mother, Independent Limehouse councillor Lutfa Begum, over the use of the word. He is alleged to have threatened Ms Khan before the police were called.

Mr Rahman had been present earlier but is not thought to have been in the chamber at the time of the altercation. Independent councillor Ms Khan today said she was "on the verge of mentally and physically collapsing" following the clash. Sources today told the Evening Standard the mayhem unfolded after a disagreement about the appointment of a new chief executive.

Labour and Tory group members were arguing that the recruitment process had been "flawed" and refused to reach an agreement over the appointment of Aman Dalvi.

The borough has been dogged by political controversy in recent years. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.