Video: Richard Barnes calls on AMs to “break free” from back room deals
Conservative politicians on the London Assembly have accused their opponents of a “squalid stitch-up” deals after an agreement between the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green parties saw Darren Johnson and Jeanette Arnold elected as Chair and Deputy Chair of the Assembly. Johnson was Deputy Chair to Arnold during during the last session of the Assembly.
As discussed in today’s interview with Johnson, an agreement was reached following last year’s Greater London Authority elections to ensure Londoners didn’t find a Conservative Mayor being scrutinised by a Conservative controlled Assembly.
At today’s Annual General Meeting of the Assembly the Conservatives proposed alternative nominees for the positions which were then blocked by the pre-determined votes of what Conservative AM Roger Evans called “the progressive coalition”. Evans’ colleague Tony Arbour was less generous, describing the other parties as a “ragbag of minorities”.
Deputy Mayor of London Richard Barnes called on AMs in other parties to “break free” from back room deals and elect his colleague Victoria Borwick for Deputy Chair. Mr Barnes said Borwick represented “a large swathe” of the capital’s voters and called on Members to elect her to what he described as a largely ceremonial role.
Members from the three parties say their agreement mirrors arrangements during the tenure of Ken Livingstone.
Speaking after his election Mr Johnson said he believed “the next twelve months will be a crucial time for the future of our city as we seek to pull out of recession and alleviate its impact on individual Londoners.”