Tower Hamlets to allow filming at council meetings

Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman. - Credit: Rehan Jamil

Filming is to be allowed at meetings of Tower Hamlets Council after a U-turn by the borough’s mayor, Lutfur Rahman.

The issue rose to prominence after a meeting of full council was put on hold by the Labour Speaker in June after a member of public was spotted filming proceedings.

Mr Rahman initially argued that recording could not be allowed because there was no system in place, and members of the public “may not wished to have been filmed”.

But on Monday he announced that filming of the often acrimonious meetings of Tower Hamlets Council would be allowed.

“I am a strong believer in open government,” he said. “As elected representatives, we are accountable to the public.

“Therefore, I am in support of meetings being filmed. The video recording of our meetings should be available to members of the public who wish to view it.”

The council was also criticised by secretary of state for communities and local government, Eric Pickles, who accused councils which do not allow filming of “suppressing freedom of speech and abusing state powers.”

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The first meeting which will be filmed is being held at the town hall on the evening of Wednesday, September 18.