Council taxpayers will have to pay almost £4,000 of a phone bill run up by a councillor on a family holiday in Hawaii, officials said on Friday.
Alby Tebbutt, a Conservative on Havering Council, Romford, used his council-issued mobile phone to make the calls during three weeks last spring.
A council spokesman said Mr Tebbutt, who represents Pettits ward in Romford, had repaid £2,676 for personal calls.
The rest were council business calls and would have to come from taxpayers.
The spokesman said: "Mr Tebbutt went away on a family holiday for three weeks and had permission to use the council-issued mobile phone while he was abroad.
"Mr Tebbutt has been through the bill and has paid back all the money he owes for personal calls.
"The outstanding money used for business calls will be met by the council through taxpayers' money."
He added councillors needed mobile phones to stay in touch and Mr Tebbutt, who served on the council cabinet last year and was chairman of the regulatory services committee, was working on several matters at the time.