A London council has defended putting adverts on bin lorries telling EU residents ‘this is your home’ after Twitter users suggested the message could be misconstrued.
Labour-led Tower Hamlets Council has been placing adverts around the East London borough encouraging its 41,000 residents from the European Union to secure their right to stay after Brexit.
However, when comedian Milo Edwards spotted one of the posters on the side of a bin lorry he tweeted: ‘Now, call me crazy, but maybe the garbage trucks weren’t the best place for the ‘eu citizens, this is your home!’ ads.’
Conservative councillor Peter Golds responded claiming that the party’s local group ‘were saying exactly that when we first saw the trucks’ and had sought information as to the cost.
However, Mr Edwards, apparently less than impressed, replied: ‘Ah yes, the tories, a party that famously *checks notes* loves immigrants.’
A spokesperson for Tower Hamlets Council said: ‘Our ‘this is your home too’ campaign has been running since January and has had a very positive reception from partner organisations, groups representing EU citizens and most importantly, our residents.
‘As a council, we are proud to be on the side of the 41,000 EU residents of our borough who are facing the uncertainty of Brexit.
‘At a time when local government is facing significant funding challenges, it is not realistic for us to use expensive commercial advertising space.
‘By using our own assets such as community information panels, park railings, or refuse vehicles, we are able to get important messages across to residents while also saving taxpayers’ money.’
The 3 Million, a campaign group which says it represents the interests of EU citizens in the UK, was supportive of the technique, tweeting that Tower Hamlets ‘has been at the forefront of supporting EU citizens’.
It said: ‘We wished other councils would take similar steps of informing EU citizens – no matter where they advertise as long as it is visible. Central Govt has provided little support to councils.’