In the build up to the 2008 Mayoral election, Boris suggested whoever won could end up needing the support of the BNP to get their budget through.
In truth the Mayor’s budget passes unless two thirds of Assembly Members vote to amend it, so it was always unlikely two AMs could hold such power.
Despite telling me at the time that he actually did understand how the Mayor’s budget was set, it seems Boris is still having difficulty.
An email sent by the Johnson campaign today claims:
“Mayor Johnson has now published his draft budget so you can see exactly where your money is going to be spent.
“Again he wants to freeze your council tax – for the fourth year in a row.
But he needs your help. His budget needs to be approved in a vote by
London Assembly members. This vote is in just 28 days time.
“Boris will work hard to persuade them that your council tax should be frozen.
“But in 11 years, Labour have never once voted in favour of freezing your council tax. And with Ken Livingstone’s supporters leading the attack against Boris in the Assembly, he needs your support to secure a fourth council tax freeze.”
The email goes on to invite recipients to complete an online form which then emails Assembly Members a standard letter calling on them to “work with Mayor Boris Johnson to pass the budget and secure a fourth council tax freeze for hardworking Londoners.”
But as in 2007, and as the City Hall website makes clear, the Mayor’s budget passes “unless the London Assembly can achieve a two-thirds majority in favour of alternative budget proposals”
Which they cannot because 11 of the 25 Assembly Members are Conservatives.
So Boris’s campaign is soliciting unnecessary support for something that will happen by default, presumably generating emails to official @london.gov.uk email addresses.
Good job then that he’s so against using City Hall resources for campaign purposes.
“we knew at the May 2008 election that every one of the current Mayor’s budgets would get through, full stop, simply because of the number [of Tory AMs] that were there and the inability of anybody to create or manufacture a coalition to overturn it.”
Someone should have told Boris.