Search

Communities secretary Eric Pickles slams Tower Hamlets Council over Ofcom report

12:28 05 February 2013

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has rebuked Tower Hamlets Council after broadcasting watchdog Ofcom said an advertisement it took out amounted to a political broadcast promoting Mayor Lutfur Rahman.

During a Parliamentary debate on Monday Mr Pickles was asked by Conservative MP for Bromley and Chislehurst Robert Neill whether he had seen the report, which said the advertisement “plainly sought to convey the aspirations of [the] Mayor, Mr Rahman.”

Mr Pickles responded: “I was shocked to read that report and I am very unhappy with what is going on in the borough.”

The minister has consistently pledged to place the code governing local authority publicity onto a statutory footing, and has regularly criticised Tower Hamlets Council’s East End Life weekly newspaper.

Expressing his concerns over the Ofcom report, Mr Pickles said he was looking “as a matter of urgency” at introducing legislation to tackle what he described as Town Hall “propaganda”.

Tower Hamlets’ Conservative group leader Cllr Peter Golds complained to Ofcom after the advertisement was shown across five Bangladeshi television channels in January last year.

It featured photographs of Mayor Rahman in the cab of a digger and inspecting a flat, and outlined his aims for improving the borough’s housing situation. His signature and title were also shown prominently on screen throughout the 30 second broadcast.

The watchdog’s report, published in January 2013, found the broadcasts breached its code of conduct. Tower Hamlets Council declined to comment on the report, and has previously dismissed Mr Pickles’ concerns over East End Life.

Latest News Stories

12:00
Keith serves up at Headway's kitchen in Shoreditch [photos: Helena Smith]

Keith Emmanuel has had to rebuilt his life after a devastating brain injury that has taken him 20 years—but now has been shortlisted for a national award.

Yesterday, 15:11
Man on CCTV police want to quiz after sex attack on Bethnal Green schoolgirl

A schoolgirl was sexually assaulted in her home in London’s East End by a bogus caller claiming to be a plumber.

Yesterday, 14:38
Tony Juniper talks at Zen launch event

A green initiative set to pioneer eco-friendly business in heavily polluted Tech City has been launched by the three councils which take in the thriving area.

Yesterday, 13:00
Engineering works could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Most read news

The family to which Ebola belongs could be as old as 23 million years.

The gaming industry’s answer to the Oscars has dished out its annual awards.

Potential female candidates are already being prepared for the upcoming diocese vacancies in Southwell, Nottingham, Gloucester and Oxford.

Watch the moment the Shadow Chancellor got interrupted by a daring arachnid.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Docklands and East London Advertiser e-edition today E-edition