Ray Lewis resignation speech in full

The barrage of allegations – unfounded in my opinion, untrue – continue with apace. And it was my intention, as you all know, to fight on and I intend to do so, but I cannot do so with obscuring the important business of the mayor’s office.

The drip drip continues and it is getting in the way of the very important work of this mayor and his vision for London. The inquiry and launching of that has done little to calm the avalanche of allegations, and, like a model impatient school child, the media doesn’t accept the principle of delayed gratification, and so we go on.

The effects on my family are beginning to tell and to show – that must stop. Most of you will be aware that I haven’t been through the political Sandhurst on my way to this important office but I thank Boris Johnson for giving me this opportunity to serve London in this particular way and I’ve been pleased to do so for these past two months. This is a great mayor, a man of vision, a man of courage, a man who I have grown to know, to love and to admire. Boris Johnson is a remarkable man and London is very fortunate, even blessed to have him.

But I cannot allow the things I have been into, up to, and around me to obscure the important business of this mayoralty. And for that reason I must step down as deputy mayor for young people with immediate effect. London faces enormous challenges and I believe with all my heart that I was best placed to do that, but it is important we get on with the business of the mayoralty without this business hanging over Boris Johnson’s head.

Yet today again we learn of another murder, yet so much time and attention has been given over to something that may or may not have happened ten, 12 years ago and of course I flatly deny it. Nonetheless, it’s important for me to let Boris Johnson get on with this very important work. There was some talk in the press of me being or not being a magistrate.

If you are fully paid up members of the ‘hair-splitters’ convention it will have made a difference to you whether or not I was appointed or recommended for appointment. And it is that seeming duplicity that is really why I asked to step down as deputy mayor because it’s very important that Boris Johnson is clear about who is working for him and what has gone on in the past.

I’ve passed all the interviews for it. I’ve had a letter confirming that I have been recommended for appointment to the board. But nonetheless it is important I do nothing to obscure this important mans very important vision. And so, I have today handed in my resignation to the mayor, who with great reluctance accepted it, and showed enormous grace throughout my time here. We will continue to enjoy a close friendship and I pray that it long continues and I pray that Boris will find other people, including myself in an unofficial capacity, to serve the interest of this country and interests of young Londoners, which was my particular brief.

It’s been great, but you can accept that in this political minefield we live in.