Updated at 12.40pm with Casa statement

Banners linking MEP David Casa to allegations that he was a cocaine user were removed hours after they were first spotted in Msida and Ħamrun on Wednesday.

A Planning Authority spokesman told Times of Malta that authority workers had removed the banners as they had been put up without authorisation.

The banners, which featured the hashtag #casacoke, alluded to allegations made by a former aide last weekend that Mr Casa used to spend hundreds of euros on cocaine during weekend binges in Maltese hotels. 

Malta Today quoted an unnamed former aide of Mr Casa's as saying in a sworn statement that the MEP suffered from a cocaine habit between 2009 and 2017.

Mr Casa has categorically denied the allegations and said they are part of a smear campaign intended to tarnish his reputation.

He has also committed to taking regular drug tests, provided the Labour Party's parliamentary group does the same. 

In a Facebook post uploaded on Wednesday morning, the MEP accused the Labour Party of being behind the banners. 

"They will stop at nothing to prevent me from continuing my work. Only over my dead body will they succeed," he wrote. 

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