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

09:00
Nick Katz

With an increasing number of people trying to cope with London’s spiralling housing prices by moving into house shares with strangers, Splittable, a new app has been launched to ensure household expenses are divded equally.

Yesterday, 12:00
Yachting Association ready to 'push the boat out' for half-term

A sailing club and two watersports centres in London’s East End are among 19 centres across London offering free or low-cost courses during the school half-term to try out new sports.

Fri, 09:08
Prime Minister David Cameron (left) and Mayor of London Boris Johnson with 3 year old Stephanie during a General Election campaign visit to Advantage Children's Day Nursery in Surbiton, Surrey. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

David Cameron is launching the Conservatives’ first English manifesto, with a promise of changes to ensure that English MPs have the final say on income tax rates in England.

Thu, 17:19
Cleared at the High Court... Tower Hamlets' Election Returning officer John Williams, pictured with former borough Police Commander Dave Stringer

The returning officer caught up in the Tower Hamlets election trial has been cleared today of any wrongdoing.

Most read news

Competitions

Spruce up for spring with this beauty bundle from Justmylook!

Looking to update your look for spring? Well, you’re in luck.

Glen Moray whiskey could be winging its way to you.

The Glen Moray Classic is a classic Speyside single malt and forms the starting point for the Classic Range.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Docklands and East London Advertiser e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder