Greens & LibDems Team Up with Tories in City Hall Committee Fight

Left-wingers in London will be surprised to hear shenanigans in City Hall have seen the Green Party and LibDems team up with the Conservatives in a battle to reduce Labour’s power. The usual process of deciding committee chairs after the London elections saw Labour demand a disproportionate number – despite winning just 11 out of 25 seats. In response the Greens, LibDems, and Tories ganged up to prevent City Hall’s committees being governed in a way that allowed Sadiq to get off the hook easily. When some socialists talked about a coalition of centre-left parties to game the system, this presumably wasn’t what they meant…

In response, Labour’s group leader Len Duvall has blasted the Greens and LibDems for “getting into bed with the Tories” and “betraying their progressive values”. Labour has now thrown a hissy fit, refusing to take any committee chairmanships, with GLA Tory leader telling Guido:

“It’s disappointing that Labour Members on the London Assembly have abdicated their responsibility to hold the Mayor to account. Instead of agreeing to a fair deal on the Assembly’s committees, ensuring all Londoners’ views are represented, they’ve refused to chair a single one. It’s only been a week since the election, but they’ve already let Londoners down.”

So much for that progressive alliance…

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Khan Plans to Move East

Sadiq Khan is planning an extraordinary move out of the iconic “glass testicle” GLA building by Tower Bridge, to a small GLA-owned conference centre called “The Crystal” out in the docklands. The current GLA building currently costs £11.1m a year in rent, meaning the Mayor would be able to boast “a £55 million over five years” if the move goes ahead. In a statement the Mayor said this morning:

“I’m consulting on plans for the GLA to leave the current City Hall building next year and relocate to The Crystal at the Royal Docks in Newham…”

“…In the current financial context, and with the looming black hole in London’s public finances, it would be negligent not to do so.”

Which is interesting because Khan has ballooned his own staffing budget by £30 million in the last five years. Instead of cutting back his own staff to Boris Johnson’s levels, Khan is planning a move forty minutes out of town. Going to desperate lengths just to keep his expensive PR team…

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Khan Hosting Party Tonight With 11 Nations Who Ban Israelis

Just hours after demanding the government rescinds its invite to President Trump over his travel ban, Sadiq Khan will tonight host a City Hall reception with 11 dignitaries whose countries bar Israeli citizens from entering. Bangladesh, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen will all be represented at the gathering of ambassadors this evening. All 11 of these countries block travel to Israeli passport holders. Khan will use tonight’s party to criticise Trump’s ban as “cruel, prejudiced and counterproductive.While dining with 11 diplomats whose countries have done the same for years…

UPDATE: Tory London Assembly member Andrew Boff says:

“I fully support the Mayor’s condemnation of President Trump’s divisive travel ban but he should also be willing to condemn those countries that discriminate against citizens from Israel – particularly when he is hosting their representatives at a drinks reception at City Hall.”

UKIP’s Peter Whittle adds:

“Will the Mayor use this occasion to speak out against the 11 countries that permanently ban Israelis? Of course he won’t. Will he rescind their invites to this party, just as he’s calling for the state visit to be stopped? Of course he won’t. Like the protesters yesterday, his outrage is highly selective.”

And Nigel Farage tells Sadiq:

“You want Trump banned from UK but are happy with anti-Israeli discrimination. You are a hypocrite.”

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