The London Assembly today questioned London Development Agency Chief Executive Manny Lewis in the wake of serious allegations which have seen a number of projects come under investigation.
Yesterday One London leader and Mayoral Candidate Damian Hockney called on Lewis and LDA Chair Mary Reilly to consider their positions after “six large boxes of papers and files” arrived at City Hall last night, allowing one day for their examination before the Agency’s leaders were questioned by Assembly Members.
Today Hockney said Lewis “admitted under my questioning that the Mayor was told of problems involving Lee Jasper’s intervention in the LDA’s funding of projects like Brixton Base. And yet Ken Livingstone repeatedly claimed what he must know to be false – that there was never any evidence of irregularities at any time and that every penny is accounted for. These two statements are untrue, as the LDA has now confirmed.”
“We need to know the truth about what the Mayor was told and when. London deserves a Mayor capable of giving honest, open answers, not one who hides behind evasions and half-truths, accusing of racism anyone who dares question him. It is particularly insulting for those of us who have spent almost a year trying to analyse LDA projects to be firstly obstructed in obtaining information, and then told we are racist because we have identified problems with the funding procedure of projects like Brixton Base and Diversity International.”
There was criticism also from Conservative Candidate for Mayor of London, Boris Johnson who called for the Mayor’s race advisor Lee Jasper “to go.”
Johnson said: ““Despite repeated promises from the Mayor that a full audit trail existed on all projects under investigation, we have now had confirmation from the LDA’s Manny Lewis that no such trail exists.”
“He also said he warned Mr Livingstone there were discrepancies. On the basis of Manny Lewis’ evidence, Mr Livingstone has deliberately misled Londoners to cover up for Lee Jasper.”