Sadiq Khan has stepped up and rectified the Government’s negligence in not commissioning the Brexit impact assessments they’d previously suggested existed.
Or at least that’s what City Hall is happy for you to think.
But, as with 4G on the Tube, the land he didn’t actually buy, the Prides he wasn’t the first Mayor to lead and the border crossing that was slightly less historic than briefed, things aren’t quite what they seem.
On Friday a carefully worded press release announced that the Mayor has commissioned his own analysis of Brexit’s impact on London’s economy as a result of the Government’s inaction.
The release opens as follows:
“The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today announced that he has commissioned independent economic analysis of the impact of different Brexit scenarios on Londoners’ jobs and prosperity.
“The studies – to be published next month – come amid growing confusion over the Government’s own economic analysis of Brexit.”
And later adds:
“Sadiq’s approach comes as the Government has failed to keep a consistent line on whether sectoral analyses of the impact on Brexit exist.”
Unsurprisingly some media outlets and a number of the Mayor’s fans took this to mean that his actions were directly spurred by the government’s apparent inaction.
But anyone who took the time to ask when the research, which is costing the cash-strapped City Hall £42,273, was actually commissioned would have learnt this happened in September – three months before it became known that the documents the government had been talking about don’t actually exist.
Sadiq’s decision to seek his own analysis of Brexit’s impact had nothing to do with the mess David Davis has got himself into.
But City Hall can’t pretend it’s not responsible for people thinking otherwise.
If it was being as open and as transparent as it wanted to look with its pledge to publish its research next month, it would have ensured the press release mentioned when it was commissioned.
UKIP London Assembly member Peter Whittle is unimpressed, telling me: “£42,000 is a lot for Sadiq Khan to spend on a pointless report that Londoners neither need nor want.
“Indeed, it was commissioned long before the ‘confusion’ that he mentions in his press release.
”The fact is, the Mayor is chief amongst those who simply cannot accept the democratically expressed will of the British people.
“He is, simply, the Mayor of Denial.”