Labour-run London council spends £27k of taxpayer cash on pro-EU banners

Hammersmith and Fulham has hung signs from lamp posts across the borough declaring the authority as “proud members of the EU”. The blue posters also depict the Brussels emblem of a circle of 12 yellow stars. Tory Greg Hands, Chelsea and Fulham MP, attacked the council for wasting money. 

“I ran the Remain campaign in Fulham in 2016 and I was disappointed that not a single Labour councillor joined me in the campaign,” he told a Sunday newspaper.

“They’ve shown up to the campaign three and a half years too late, and misspending taxpayers’ money in October 2019 won’t change a single vote in June 2016.”

Other banners include an EU flag with a red heart and states: “Home is where your heart is. Secure your right to stay.”

The council insists its banner blitz is aimed at encouraging EU citizens to register for settled status, despite some posters containing no direct reference to the issue.

But some said the council was misspending taxpayer cash and even “electioneering” ahead of a general election which could just be weeks away. 

The Labour council is publicly against Brexit and its website says the local authority “will do everything in its power to promote the benefits of the UK remaining in the European Union and to seek a People’s Vote on any Brexit deal, with an option to remain”.

In the 2016 referendum 70 percent of voters in the borough backed Remain.

The website adds: “The council is opposed to Brexit because it goes against the will of the majority of the population of the borough.

"The council supports the wide range of evidence, including commentary from the Bank of England, trade bodies and leading local, regional and national politicians, that Brexit will have negative impacts across a number of areas.”

A council spokesman said: “The vast majority of EU residents who have settled in Hammersmith and Fulham are essential workers in our NHS, care services and economy and we’d like them to stay, so the banners clearly send that message.

“They cost £27,000 which is a small figure in comparison to the huge costs taxpayers will have to bear if these essential workers don’t get settled status.”

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