Cannes is a city in the French Riviera usually host to the super-wealthy and film stars.

However, recently Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia got to visit the famous city when developers whisked him off for a couple of days in which he represented the "brighter borough".

It was all part of Mipim, a real estate exhibition and networking event, earlier this month.

When asked how much the trip cost, a spokesman for Wandsworth Council said they did not know because no council money was spent.

However, the council did tell an opposition councillor, Simon Hogg, the trip cost £27,700 and was paid for by landowners and developers in the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership.

These include Taylor Wimpey, Battersea Power Station, CLS Holdings, St James, Ballymore, McGrove and Royal Mail.

Coun Hogg, who represents Latchmere, said: "This is shocking but not surprising. Under the Tories, Wandsworth Council acts like a property developer with a sideline in local government.

"I don't know how this trip will benefit local people. But it will certainly benefit the large property developers who paid the Tory leader's French Riviera hotel bill."

Wandsworth Times:

Not impressed: Opposition councillor Simon Hogg 

Paul Maloney, GMB regional secretary, said: "This cosying up to developers will not impress hard pressed renters who now make up a third of all households in the borough."

A council spokesman said every penny spent was private sector cash and did not just cover Coun Govindia’s costs.

He said the money also includes what developers spent on staging their exhibition, hiring exhibition space, equipment lights and sending other people to the event.

He said: "Our council leader represented the borough at this important event and worked extremely hard to attract significant investment to Wandsworth and in particular the Nine Elms opportunity zone which is set to deliver 20,000 new homes, 6.5 million square feet of commercial and office space plus a new tube link to this underdeveloped part of south London. His trip there did not cost taxpayers a single penny.

"The construction phase in Nine Elms alone will create around 20,000 jobs with a further 25,000 permanent ones to follow."

He said the critics should be applauding the council’s efforts to attract investment and the creation of so many jobs and new homes.