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|God Save the Queen?|
Muhammad Lutfur Rahman (1965–) is the ex-mayor of Tower Hamlets in London; a former member of the Labour party, he is now independent. He is controversial due to his reported links to Islamic extremist elements.
In March 2010 an episode of Channel 4's Dispatches series focused on Rahman's ties to the extremist Islamic Forum Europe, which helped him come to power. While council leader, Rahman hired Lutfur Ali as assistant chief executive; Ali went on to fund various IFE front groups with council grants before resigning, after it turned out that he had been working in another job on council time.
The following July it emerged that Rahman's solicitor, Makbool Javaid, was connected to al-Muhajiroun, a group which supports al-Qaeda. Javaid also signed a fatwa which demanded "full-scale war of jihad" against the US and UK.
In September 2010, Rahman was suspended by the Labour party as its mayoral candidate for Tower Hamlets following concerns about his conduct. He instead ran as an independent candidate, and succeeded in being elected mayor on 22 October 2010.
He now appears to be in the process of setting up a new party called Tower Hamlets First.