Assembly to investigate Boris’ appointments

The London Assembly has voted unanimously to investigate Boris Johnson’s record of appointments to City Hall since he became mayor.

The inquiry comes after two resignations of senior advisors in a fortnight.

Deputy mayor for youth and opportunity Ray Lewis resigned last week amid allegations of a financial nature, while Mr Johnson admitted he had been misled over Mr Lewis’ experience as a magistrate.

Earlier Mr Johnson’s deputy chief of staff James McGrath left his post over comments regarding London’s Afro-Caribbean community and their reaction to Mr Johnson’s appointment.

The assembly said its inquiry would examine four key questions:

How did Mayor Boris Johnson pick his senior City Hall policy advisors?

Were proper recruitment procedures followed?

Was the mayor properly advised about the use of his powers of appointment?

What lessons can be learnt for future changes of administration at City Hall?

Assembly member John Biggs, who proposed the inquiry motion, said: “To lose one advisor might be considered unfortunate but to lose two in two weeks looks like carelessness. Beyond the headlines there are important issues about the appointment of publicly funded staff that need to be addressed to ensure the good management of this authority.”

Mike Tuffrey AM added: “Boris Johnson promised Londoners an end to cronyism at City Hall with transparency and clarity about the appointment of advisers and their interests.

“What we heard today from [deputy mayor] Tim Parker failed to address the issues about appointments exposed by the recent resignations.”