A senior London Labour politician has told a judge that he was falsely presented as a "racist" in a bid to influence an election result.

London Assembly member John Biggs said "unfounded" allegations had been made by Lutfur Rahman, independent Mayor of Tower Hamlets in east London - and by supporters of Mr Rahman.

Mr Biggs said he had been referred to as "John Bigot" by Mr Rahman's election agent and mentioned in the same breath as Oswald Mosley.

But he said he had always campaigned against racism and would "defy anybody" to argue that he had not.

Mr Biggs was giving evidence on the second day of a special hearing at the High Court in London.

Four Tower Hamlets voters have accused Mr Rahman of ''electoral fraud'' at a hearing in an Election Court.

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.

Evidence is being outlined to Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey - a senior lawyer sitting as a judge - at a hearing expected to last several weeks.

Mr Mawrey has been asked to declare the result of a May 2014 mayoral election, which saw Mr Rahman elected for a second term, void and order a re-run.

Mr Rahman, who was in court to watch Mr Biggs give evidence, 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''.

Mr Biggs said he had been the Labour Party candidate for mayor in the May 2014 election in Tower Hamlets.

He said "unfounded allegations" had been made in the run-up to the election by Mr Rahman and "various of his supporters".

Mr Biggs said, in a written witness statement, that allegations included "that I was a racist".

"I believe these false statements were deliberately made, in the knowledge that they were false, in order to polarise opinion and to attempt to influence the election result," said Mr Biggs.

"These went beyond the usual 'rough and tumble' of an election campaign."

He said a number of "offensive posts" had been referred to police.

Mr Biggs said Mr Rahman's agent, Alibor Choudhury, had referred to him as "John Bigot".

And he said that at a Tower Hamlets Council meeting Mr Choudhury had said: "Oswald Mosley had his Blackshirts, John Biggs has his black cardigans."

Mr Biggs said: "I have been the target of a protracted campaign to present me falsely as a racist."

He added: "I have always campaigned against racism and I defy anybody to argue that I haven't."

Mr Biggs said he had been involved in London politics for more than 25 years and was a "predominantly full-time politician".

And he said the 2014 Tower Hamlets election campaign had been "far and away" the "most unpleasant, personally abusive and vicious" he had been involved in.

He said he did not know Mr Rahman well.

"On the face of it he is a personable and courteous, if inscrutable fellow," he added. "I have learnt that behind the exterior is a quite ruthless and determined organiser."

The hearing continues.