Only on Saturday another Hugh Muir piece also appeared in the Guardian, headlined Boris Johnson Faces Conflict of Interest Charge Over Office, over Boris taking free office space from a Ken hating business.
Conflict of interest charges are serious indeed and should be answered. So how much did Hugh Muir get for his contribution to a report commissioned by Ken – The Search for Common Ground? We know it cost the Mayor’s taxpayers £22,000. We know of course it had a foreword by Mayor Ken. What we don’t know is how much of the taxpayers £22,000 Hugh pocketed courtesy of Ken.
Guido has tried to contact him to find out, but no reply so far. Hugh’s article on Boris concluded that Boris “should know there is no such thing as a free lunch”. Quite, so how much did Hugh get from Ken Livingstone?
The Commission says:“We have written to the charities involved to advise them on the type of political activity a charity can be involved in.”
Frankly Guido is surprised that Muslims are so keen to back someone so keen on alcohol*…
Since Ken is quoted in nearly every article throughout the 20 pages, on concerns ranging from London’s housing shortage, Tube fares, a Metropolitan Police survey, Oyster Cards, offers for Londoners to get half price bus fares and crime in London, Hosie says: “This is an outrageous waste of taxpayers’ money to provide propaganda for Ken Livingstone’s mayoral campaign. The newspaper articles have little or no relevance to anyone outside London. Bad enough that taxpayers’ money is wasted on propaganda but then to have it posted throughout the UK adds insult to injury.”
Londoners want, and tourists especially expect, to see the famous red bus silhouette against the backdrop of the Capital of the World. Bizarrely Ken’s supporters now no longer able to object on disability legislation grounds now object on cost grounds. When have they ever worried about cost before? Boris is on to a populist vote winner here…
Cash has been dished out in wheelbarrows to Jasper’s pals. Now a whistle-blower of impeccable credentials has come out to describe a catalogue of demands for hush money, political interference and financial irregularity.
The Tories are now calling for the District Auditor to come in and go over the books. In any organisation where one individual faced so many allegations he would be suspended pending an investigation. What does Ken do? He calls everyone racist and gets his echo-chamber of ratepayer funded self-serving community groups to join in the chant. It won’t work this time.
Brenda Stern, who was the programme manager for the LDA’s Diversity Works initiative, is a former director for the Commission for Racial Equality, who was brought into the LDA in March 2006 to rescue Diversity Works. She comes from a background in anti-apartheid activism. Her credibility is not in question. Lee Jasper should be very worried.
So why is Ken still so vehemently defending his aide? Could it be that Lee Jasper knows where the bodies are buried?
He was quite happily telling his companion that if (and he did say “if”) he wins a third term, he will be evicting the Conservative Group from their offices and taking over the area for his own staff. Apparently the Conservatives are hardly ever there and don’t need as much room as they have.
Not so certain of victory?
UPDATE : Ken’s henchman Lee Jasper is, as Guido has said before, a shakedown artist. He lives in an upmarket period property owned by a Housing Association which receives £80 million a year to house low income families. Lee Jasper earns £117,000 a year and pays just £90 week rent. According to the Evening Standard the market rate, which he could well afford, is £550 a week for this period property worth some £750,000. So this is what Ken means by affordable housing.
“it is galling to know that millions of pounds of LDA money has allegedly not got through to the many community groups that need it most. The Mayor should now apologise for this outrageous abuse of hard-earned taxpayer’s money. We always knew the attacks on me were a put-up job, and in no sense represented the black community. The attacks are a smokescreen to hide the fact that his administration has ripped off community groups across London and failed to improve the lives of the very people he claims to champion. I am delighted that the curtain has gone up to reveal Ken pulling the levers. The incompetent puppetmaster has been exposed by his own puppets.”
He has now visited every one of the 32 boroughs in London, a campaign source tells Guido he has also completed a month long immersive education in the details of policy. The grid for the campaign kicks off in earnest in January. Ken’s policy response is a proposal to nationalise all trains coming into London. With the LibDems choosing the PC PC, Brian Paddick, it is all going to be fun…
UPDATE : The campaign site has been revamped with the video and more interactivity. They are using Boris icons pretty liberally.
The first 150 Boris supporters to be there for a quick briefing at 9:30am in the County Hall reception will be kitted out with a official Back Boris t-shirts and will be integral to the smooth running of the day. You should be free to leave by 11:30am at the latest.
The first 150 people to reply to email@example.com with their full name and contact number will be added to the list. First come first served – see you there…
Victoria Borwicks site is actually better, Warwick Lightfoot’s is busier and has podcasts and videos. Andrew Boff’s site asks you to be patient with just a tear dropping. Was he surprised to get through?
|Party||Name|| 1st choice
| 1st choice
| 2nd choice
| 2nd choice
|Labour Party||Livingstone, Ken||685,541||35.70%||250,517||13.04%|
|Conservative Party||Norris, Steve||542,423||28.24%||222,559||11.59%|
|Liberal Democrats||Hughes, Simon||284,645||14.82%||465,704||24.25%|
People seem to forget that Boris got to Eton on a scholarship, not because he was a toff, the buffoon tag can be shaken off easily.