Peter Golds: East End Life could be the future
By Peter Golds
Congratulations to The Wharf for robustly defending press freedom.
It is a matter of fact that Mayor Lutfur Rahman declines to respond to questions from councillors and the public at Tower Hamlets Council meetings. The Mayor of London Boris Johnson spends hours answering questions from assembly members.
Other executive mayors take full part in council meetings, as happens in nearby Hackney and Lewisham.
The council most certainly did receive a warning, delivered by an officer, that there were human rights concerns in asking the mayor to answer questions and, despite the council having a legally required Overview and Scrutiny committee, to monitor executive decision making, Mr Rahman declines to attend.
The administration has a communications budget of millions of pounds of taxpayer's money.
For this residents can access the mayor's blog via the town hall website, no comments are, of course, allowed; they can enjoy the street displays of quotations and pictures and receive East End Life, which has no letters section and where, when opposition councillors are invited to contribute, these comments cannot go against council policy.
East End Life could be the future of newspapers if we have any interference in press freedom by government or parliament.
What starts as a "dab of regulation" gives the potential for censorship unseen in centuries.
■ Peter Golds is Conservative councillor for Blackwall and Cubitt Town.