Boris Johnson looks set to remain at City Hall for his full mayoral after David Cameron decided against awarding him a ministerial role in his new Government.
Mr Johnson returned to parliament in last week’s general election and was expected to seek his party’s leadership should Mr Cameron resign if he failing to remain in Government.
Had he become leader, Mr Johnson was expected to quit City Hall this November leaving his deputy running the capital until next years Mayoral and London Assembly elections.
After the Conservatives won an unexpected majority on Thursday there was some speculation that the mayor might be awarded a ministerial or other senior role.
However on Monday the Prime Minister said Mr Johnson would attend his political cabinet but would otherwise “devote his attention to his final year as Mayor of London”.
The move means Mr Johnson will have access to Mr Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne, giving him a chance to lobby for London while also feeding into his party’s wider political strategy.
Despite the PM’s words, Len Duvall, Labour’s leader at City Hall said “there’s a real risk Boris will focus his efforts on his parliamentary role and chasing his next big job.”
He added: “The majority of Londoners voted against this Government. What they now need is a Mayor who will stand up and protect the capital from the worst excesses of the incoming Government, it’s very doubtful they will get this from Boris Johnson.
“London needs a Mayor who will fight for the capital, not one focused on setting up their next career move.”
Businesses leaders have also raised concern about the Mayor’s focus on the capital’s needs.
Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said London “needs reassurance that he will be able to devote the time and focus necessary, and the time and focus Londoners expect and deserve, to what until today was his full time occupation as London Mayor.”
He also called on the Mayor to use his new role to “make the case for the significant investment in transport infrastructure and housing that the capital needs to sustain the economic growth we have seen to date.”
On his election as MP for Uxbridge, Mr Johnson’s £143,911pa mayoral salary was slashed by two-thirds leaving him with a combined MP and City Hall salary of £115,000.
Boris Johnson’s email to City Hall staff:
Good morning all!
It will not have escaped your notice that there has been a general election and that I am now also a serving MP. I have seen one or two vaguely pessimistic remarks about this from commentators so I wanted to issue some immediate reassurance.
This will in no way diminish my appetite to get things done for London and for Londoners.
I believe the GLA has contributed to some enormous improvements in our city over the last few years – both under Ken and in my time. But the challenges are still huge.
We have a fast growing population, and pressure on all our services – above all housing. We need to get on with delivering the record numbers of affordable homes. We need crime to keep falling. We need to give young people better skills, more apprenticeships, better prospects of employment. We need FAR more companies to be paying the London Living Wage – though I am very pleased, obviously, with what has been done so far.
We must make irreversible all kinds of wonderful projects that are now underway:
– Crossrail 2
– New river crossings (ornamental or not)
– Tube extensions
– Cycle Superhighways
– New road tunnels
– And many, many more
We should drive on all our programmes for environmental improvement: planting trees, cleaning up the air, leading the UK with our ULEZ. We must continue to support our young people with Team London, the Music Fund, the educational and cultural initiatives and so much more.
I want by next year to have made decisive progress with Olympicopolis, with the Old Oak MDC and all the other opportunity areas.
I am immensely proud of everything we have achieved in the last seven years. I am hugely grateful to everyone in City Hall.
But we have a massive amount still to do – and just the right amount of time to do it in. A year is a hell of a long time in politics, folks.
Let’s put the pedal to the metal.
See you later on.