A takeover squad was ordered to run Tower Hamlets today after a bombshell report found the council flouted spending rules over millions of pounds in grants and property sales.

Cabinet minister Eric Pickles branded it a "rotten borough" and told MPs there was evidence of "cronyism" and a risk of "corruption".

In a blow to controversial mayor Lutfur Rahman, who seized control in 2010, a three-man team of commissioners will move into his headquarters. The commissioners will take over the power to give grants and must approve property sales and senior council officer appointments or suspensions.

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