Tower Hamlets Council asked 15 other councils how much they spend on chauffeurs for Mayors

Bungling town hall officers asked councils from as far away as Devon, Doncaster and Middlesbrough how much they spend on chauffeur-driven cars for their Mayors, it has emerged.

Last week it was revealed that finance chiefs from Tower Hamlets Council had asked neighbouring borough Newham how much it spent on chauffeur-driven cars for its Mayor, Sir Robin Wales - only to be told he doesn’t use them.

And it has now emerged that a total of 14 other councils also received the same freedom of information request, which was subsequently withdrawn on Sunday morning.

Among the councils asked was sleepy Devon seaside resort Torbay, Middlesbrough Borough Council, and Leicester City Council.

The request was also sent out to other London boroughs including Hackney and Lewisham.

Tower Hamlets is now conducting an internal investigation into the requests, which the council said was part of a process to compare its spending with that of other boroughs.

The local authorities approached were done so because they share Tower Hamlets’ system of a directly elected Mayor.