Labour mayoral hopeful Dame Tessa Jowell has vowed that appointments to her Homes for Londoners agency will be made in the “most open and approachable way possible”.
Establishing the agency, which will be responsible for delivering thousands of new homes needed by the city’s growing population, is Dame Tessa’s biggest policy commitment to date.
In a move intended to signal how seriously she takes the challenge of tackling London’s growing homes crisis, the former Dulwich MP this week promised to convene the agency’s “world class” board on her first day as Mayor.
Fulfilling this pledge would require candidates to be interviewed and selected ahead of her election, only after which they could be formally appointed.
As such much of the recruitment process would need to happen outside of City Hall’s normal framework for making and vetting senior appointments.
Current Mayor Boris Johnson faced criticism after a number of his first term advisors resigned within months of him taking office, leading to questions about how well he knew the appointees and how vigorously they’d been vetted.
Asked how Jowell would avoid similar criticisms while ensuring the board was in place to fulfil her pledge, a spokesperson for her campaign said: “Tessa will run the city in the way she is running her campaign – in the most open and approachable way possible, that’s how we’ll deliver One London.
“All members of the Homes for Londoners board will be appointed according to the highest possible standards for appointments in public life.”