Mayor Sadiq Khan has been criticised for failing to attend a London Assembly meeting on London’s economic recovery.
Representatives from a number of key business groups, including the CBI, Federation of Small Business, and the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry participated in the meeting last Thursday where they discussed the challenges facing the capital in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
However, neither Mr Khan nor any of his senior team attended the meeting, with the sole City Hall representative being a member of non-political staff.
Following the meeting AMs unanimously agreed a motion expressing “disappointment that, despite the critical importance to businesses and livelihoods across London of the issues discussed today, no formal representative of the Mayor or his team was able to or offered to attend.”
It continues: “The Assembly is most grateful to the external guests and the GLA officer who joined us to discuss London’s economic recovery from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but believes that Londoners deserve to hear from the Mayor and his representatives at this crucial time.
“Indeed, the Mayor and his team would have benefited from hearing the expert evidence of those who appeared before us today.”
Navin Shah, Chair of the Assembly, will write to the Mayor highlighting the Assembly’s concerns and request a commitment that an “appropriate” representative will attend future meetings.
Responding to the criticism, a spokesperson for Mr Khan said: “The Mayor is deeply concerned about London’s economic recovery from Covid-19 and believes the Government has a historic responsibility to ensure that no one is left permanently unemployed, homeless or pushed into poverty as a result of this crisis.
“That’s why he has been forcefully pushing the Government to extend the furlough scheme to those economic sectors and geographical areas that are being worst affected by Covid-19 – like central London – and why he is coming forward with a range of plans to stimulate economic recovery from City Hall.”
The spokesperson also highlighted that Mr Khan had appeared before AMs for Mayor’s Question Time earlier this month where he “answered a range of questions on how he is supporting London’s economic recovery.”