The London Assembly agreed yesterday to investigate the procedures and processes used by Boris Johnson to recruit his senior staff.
The 1999 Greater London Authority Act allows the Mayor to appoint a maximum of 12 staff to deliver his policies for London – these are referred to as ‘section 67 appointments’ after the enabling clause of the Act.
Since taking office in May the Mayor has been forced to accept the resignations of Deputy Chief of Staff James McGrath and ‘deputy mayor’ Ray Lewis.
Assembly Members agreed a motion to “instruct the Business Management and Administration Committee to look closely at the Mayor’s appointments of staff under S67 of the GLA Act (and his temporary use of consultants in advisory posts akin to S67 appointments) in order to understand how the appointments were made, whether they fully followed proper process, whether the Mayor was properly advised in the exercise of his powers and whether any lessons are to be learnt.”
The committee will look at four main areas:
· How did Mayor Boris Johnson pick his senior City Hall policy advisors?
· Were proper recruitment procedures followed?
· Was the Mayor properly advised about the use of his powers of appointment?
· What lessons can be learnt for future changes of administration at City Hall?
Labour’s John Biggs told Members “Beyond the headlines there are important issues about the appointment of publicly funded staff that need to be addressed to ensure the good management of this authority. We recognise that this has been the first time power has changed hands at City Hall but it will surely not be the last. The lessons we learn from our investigation will help the next new Mayor to avoid some of the hiccups around appointments that have troubled this administration.”
The motion was agreed following questioning of ‘first deputy mayor’ Tim Parker. Liberal Democrat AM Mike Tuffrey said Parker’s answers “failed to address the issues about appointments exposed by the recent resignations.”