Boris Johnson is to reshape his office arrangements after the departure of Ian Clement, the ‘deputy mayor’ for Government relations, revealed the absence of a formal Chief of Staff, despite a widespread understanding at City Hall that advisor Sir Simon Milton held this responsibility.
Giving evidence last week in the wake of Clement’s resignation over the misuse of his corporate credit card, Milton revealed he wasn’t the line manager of those staff members appointed by the Mayor under section 67 of the GLA act.
In a letter sent to London Assembly Chair Darren Johnson on Friday, the Mayor says Milton will now occupy this position “with immediate effect” in respect to all section 67 staff except communications director Guto Harri and Dan Ritterband, currently the Director of Marketing.
Milton will assume responsibility for approving the expenses of all Mayoral appointees other than Deputy Mayor Richard Barnes, the Mayor’s policing advisor Kit Malthouse, and himself.
Johnson is also withdrawing the job title of ‘Director’ from a number of appointees who lack any management function. These include culture advisor Munira Mirza and transport advisor on transport issues. In future post holders will be referred to as ‘Mayoral Advisor’.
Johnson’s letter says the move “will eliminate the potential for confusion among external audiences who would generally expect a director to have line management responsibilities”.
The letter also implies Clement will not be replaced with his responsibilities being “taken forward by other members of the team”.
Barnes, Malthouse and Milton have each been asked to serve as “the contact point for specific boroughs” to “ensure” council leaders continue to have access to the administration “at the most senior level” following Clement’s departure.
The parcelling out of Clement’s former responsibilities follows our earlier story that no further ‘deputy mayor’ roles were likely to be created by Johnson after the administration belatedly realised the Mayor’s decision to hand out “bauble job titles” to salaried employees had backfired in the wake of multiple resignations and negative headlines.