Boris Johnson has been rebuffed in his attempts to appoint City Hall’s head of paid service as interim Chief Executive of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPC).
Johnson’s Chief of Staff Sir Eddie Lister wrote to London Assembly Members following the departure of Catherine Crawford and her deputy Jane Harwood requesting support for the appointment.
Lister’s letter says the Mayor believes an interim appointment is necessary to ensure “there are adequate senior management arrangements” in place “given the recent appointment“ of Stephen Greenhalgh.
Crawford and Harwood both left the MOPC last week without a handover period or successors being appointed.
Lister’s letter confirms the “early” departures were the result of “confidential discussions” with the pair.
Labour and Green AMs objected to the appointment, saying Jacobs did not have the experience or time necessary to carry out the role.
As a joint appointee between the Assembly and Mayor Mr Jacobs cannot be redeployed to MOCP without the Assembly’s agreement.
Appealing for support for the request, Tory AM Tony Arbour said there was “a vacuum” at the top of the MOPC.
Green AM Jenny Jones said Assembly Members were being asked to “clean up a mess” created by the Mayor’s staff.
Labour’s Andrew Dismore said it was “ludicrous” for the Mayor to seek AMs’ help without explaining the circumstances of Crawford and Harwood’s departures.
Labour, Green and LibDem AMs backed a motion calling on the Mayor to make alternative arrangements.
AMs had previously expressed concern that the departures would create a knowledge gap within the MOPC.
They were also unimpressed when Greenhalgh was unable to answer questions when he appeared before them last month without Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe.