Picture of EU flag

Hammersmith & Fulham Council leader claims PM’s £27k flags claim false

The leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council has accused Boris Johnson of misleading Parliament over his claim that the council spent £27,000 on pro-EU flags since the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Johnson made the comment at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday in response to Leader of the Opposition Keir Starmer’s question regarding new taxes being introduced by the Government.

In a letter to the PM, the leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council Stephen Cowan said the cost of a flag is £320 and the council is currently on their tenth European flag since the referendum.

He stated: “Flying the European Flag was just one of the many initiatives we took to underline our support for our European residents.

“Another one of those was advertising the Government’s EU Settlement Scheme – a campaign that told EU citizens “Home is where your heart is, we’d love you to stay” and provided a link to the support that would help them do that.

“The advertising banners cost £27,000 but were paid for by the Government. That may be the basis of your confusion.”

He also said he made no apology for demonstrating a warm welcome to all our residents no matter where they originate from, especially for EU citizens after the referendum since there was a huge increase in recorded hate crimes.

A Conservative spokesman said: “Hammersmith & Fulham Council confirmed that they had spent £27,000 on EU banners to the Daily Telegraph describing it as a ‘small figure’.

“This was however three years ago so it is possible the figure is now an underestimate.”

Several Hammersmith & Fulham Labour councillors and candidates have supported Cowan’s letter to the PM.

Labour candidate for College Park and Old Oak ward Bora Kwon tweeted: “In Hammersmith and Fulham we fly the Union Jack, the St George’s Cross, the EU flag and on one memorable occasion the flag of South Korea too.

“I’m proud to be part of @HFLabour that embraces the multiculturalism of our corner of London #stopJohnsonstopthelies.”

Featured image credit: MPD01605 via Flickr under cc-by-sa 2.0.

Related Articles