As Greenhalgh is a councillor it’s claimed that his appointment breaches the so-called Widdicombe rules on politically restricted posts.
I don’t think that’s the case – though I’m open to being proven wrong.
The Deputy Mayor for Policing is a statutory role created by Parliament when it passed the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.
The act allows for the functions of the MOPC to be carried out by the Mayor or a Deputy Mayor for Policing.
The Deputy can be an Assembly member but doesn’t have to be. Where it’s not an AM the Act provides a list of exclusions for who can be appointed of which local councillor isn’t one.
As the Mayor and an AM are clearly political it would make no sense for a non-AM Deputy to be politically restricted.
On a related point, where the Deputy Mayor isn’t an AM their appointment can be vetoed by the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee on a two-thirds vote.
Update: My attention has been drawn to a second list which includes a number of political post holders excluded from being Deputy Mayor for Policing but again does not list councillor.
Update 9th May. I’m now told “The post of Dep Mayor Policing and head of MOPC is a member of staff of the MOPC if they are not an Assembly Member and cannot be an elected councillor of another authority.”
Earlier on Wednesday Labour’s Val Shawcross issued the following statement: “This is a complete shambles. It is clear that the mayor has made a serious mistake, Mr Greenhalgh is a sitting councillor which bars him from taking a senior paid position in local government. The rules are very clear on this matter. They haven’t announced that Cllr Greenhalgh has stood down, so I believe this is in breach of the Local Government Act 1989.”
“These rules are very clear and everybody working in and around local government is aware of them, the mayor even made this mistake in 2008 with another appointment, you would have thought they’d have got it right this time round.”