Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman faces criticism after it emerged that £20,000 of taxpayers’ money was used to fund TV adverts promoting his political campaign.
Rahman is said to have paid for adverts to be broadcasted up to 15 times a day on five Bengali television channels in January 2012. This revelation comes shortly after the release of Rahman’s controversial taxi expenses, which totalled £2,800 over a six-month period, including £71 for one 400 metre trip.
Ofcom ruled that the adverts breached its code regarding political broadcasts, saying: “The purpose of the advertisement was not to inform and educate the public.”
The Taxpayers’ Alliance, a public spending pressure group, is now calling for Mayor Rahman to repay the money personally.
Councillor Joshua Peck, Labour group leader for Tower Hamlets Council, criticised Rahman’s decision to spend taxpayers’ money on self-promotion “at a time when the Mayor is cutting public spending”.
Eastlondonlines contacted Tower Hamlets Council for a comment but was told that no official statement has been prepared yet.