Tower Hamlets Council awards £5,000 to TV channel censored for political advert

Tower Hamlets Council has awarded a £5,000 grant to a Bangladeshi television channel which was censored for carrying an advertisement for the borough’s Mayor.

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom ruled earlier in the year that the advertisement shown last year amounted to a party political broadcast for Lutfur Rahman.

It has now transpired that the council has awarded the channel, based in Walthamstow, the grant to host an awards ceremony with categories spanning from contributions in business to sport and education.

Leader of the Conservative Group at Tower Hamlets Council Peter Gold said: “Once again Lutfur Rahman is rewarding his favourite TV channel with public money after the council was heavily criticised by Ofcom for using public money to run political adverts.

“We now have a sponsored awards ceremony which will once again be a platform for Lutfur Rahman and his administration.”

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A spokeswoman for Tower Hamlets Council said the grant was part of the Community Events Fund programme which awarded grants of up to £5,000.

She said: “This fund received 80 applications and awards were granted to many different community groups to host a wide range of events.

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“The ceremony intends to promote the activities of the diverse talents, most of which are from Tower Hamlets, and actively engage the local community, promote community cohesion and enhance corporate and social responsibilities amongst the entrepreneurs of the local community.

“The Mayor approved the grants for the applications as recommended by the Corporate Grants Programme Board.”

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