An event paying tribute to people at work was cancelled because it was “too awkward” for councillors to support it during the election period.

Waltham Forest Council’s ruling Labour party withdrew its support for the Trade Council’s annual event on April 25, after initially agreeing to donate £25.

The authority cited a lack of public liability insurance, an unsatisfactory risk assesment and an incomplete licencising application.

But chairman of the Walthamstow Labour Party sent organisers an e-mail, which has only just come to light, giving political reasons.

It said: “This event falls during a local election campaign. We would always be loathe to put out messages supporting events that directly clash with campaigning.

“Furthermore, given that a number of leading members of the Trades Council are running in Walthamstow as TUSC candidates, against Labour candidates and colleagues, the timing of the event is particularly unfortunate.

“I also understand that the council have not given permission for the use of the park.

“All of this means that, while I would normally want us to support this type of event, it would be particularly awkward for [us] to support this event on this occasion.”

The organisers claim they had not been informed of the council’s decision to refuse them permission to hold the event in Coronation Park, Walthamstow.

The authority then announced their own workers’ memorial event just over six hours after cancelling the original.

They said they were running a separate workers day memorial service to allow council staff to attend.

In response to concerns raised, Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “On Wednesday 11 April we contacted the Waltham Forest Trades Council after seeing a poster promoting an event at Coronation Square Gardens on Saturday April 28.

“No booking had been made for this event with the council.

“We advised the organisation that a Public Liability Insurance would be necessary, and that they would need to submit a full risk assessment and site plan for the event.  Licenses would also need be granted for live music performances and the sale of alcohol.

“As only a draft risk assessment was eventually provided we would not be able to guarantee the safety of the general public and for this reason we were not able to accept this booking.

“We know this is a disappointment for the organisers but our main priority, as always, is the safety of our residents and visitors to Waltham Forest.”