Week at Westminster: Boris Johnson heads to the USA, Tower Hamlets’ Mayor hearing and NHS reorganisation

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Week at Westminster: Boris Johnson heads to the USA, Tower Hamlets’ Mayor hearing and NHS reorganisation

Mayor of London Boris Johnson heads to the USA

The Mayor of London is set to head to the USA on a six-day trade mission aimed at bolstering London’s science and technology industries.

Boris Johnson will start in Boston on Sunday before heading to New York City and Washington DC.

He’ll hold a series of meetings with politicians, officials and business leaders. New York’s senior police officer Bill Bratton is also expected to meet Mr Johnson.
 

Tower Hamlets: Residents 'too frightened to speak out over Lutfur Rahman allegations'

Claims are being analysed by Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey, a senior lawyer who is sitting as judge at a trial in the Election Court.

Tower Hamlets residents have been "too frightened" to speak out over alleged electoral fraud by the borough's mayor.

Retail analyst Debbie Simone said she had joined thee other voters in launching a court bid to unseat Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman because others wanted to but were afraid.

The group of four, headed by Andy Erlam, who stood as a Tower Hamlets councillor on an anti-corruption ticket, has mounted a challenge under the provisions of the 1983 Representation Of The People Act at a special High Court hearing in London.

Lawyers for the group of four have made a series of allegations - including "personation" in postal voting and at polling stations and ballot paper tampering.

Mr Rahman says there is "little if any" evidence of wrong-doing against him.

His lawyers have described the group of four's claims as "invention", "exaggeration" and "in some cases downright deliberately false allegations".

Claims are being analysed by Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey, a senior lawyer who is sitting as judge at a trial in the Election Court.

The hearing is expected to last several weeks.
 

Leading health think tank condemns Tory NHS reform.

The King’s Fund said the reorganisation forced through by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley was “damaging and distracting” for a health service that should have been preparing for a challenging period.
 
A leading health think tank has slammed NHS reforms made by the Conservative government claiming it has left the service weaker.

The King’s Fund said the reorganisation forced through by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley was “damaging and distracting” for a health service that should have been preparing for a challenging period.

The 80-page assessment also accuses Prime Minister David Cameron of making errors that allowed Lansley to press ahead with  a “sweeping and complicated” reorganisation even though the coalition had ruled one out in May 2010.
 
Evening Standard political correspondent Joe Watts explains more.

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