Boris Johnson has been accused of ‘eliminating’ Labour from the board of the London Development Agency by predecessor Ken Livingstone after he announced the new board of the troubled agency.
On Tuesday Mayor Johnson announced the composition of the new board which includes four elected members: Conservative Assembly Member James Cleverly, Lib Dem Councillor Truesdale, Conservative Councillor Mike Freer and , Jeremy Mayhew non-party Common Councilman, City Corporation.
Other members are: Harvey McGrath (Chair), Tim Parker, Steve Norris, Susan Angoy (Advisory Board Member of City University, and a Non Executive Director of Camden NHS Primary Trust), Ian Barlow (Chair of the London Business Board and Think London), Fran Beckett (former Chief Executive of the Shaftesbury Society) Megan Dobney (Regional Secretary, Southern and Eastern Regions at the TU) Ann Humphries(interim Chair of the New West End Company) and Edmund Lazarus (founding partner of Englefield Capital, a London private equity firm.)
Announcing the board members Mayor Johnson said “we now have an excellent team, led by Harvey McGrath who has done a terrific job in a short time at the LDA refocusing the Agency on its priorities and restoring public confidence in its role. His wealth of experience can be shared across the organisation and is exactly the right person to steer the LDA on its new course, giving value for money in its delivery of the skills, jobs and regeneration that will keep London ahead of its competitors.”
However in a statement released on his behalf Mr Livingstone said “the decision by Boris Johnson to exclude Labour from the London Development Agency board, even though Labour are the second largest group on the London Assembly, is a direct attack on the accountability and transparency of the LDA” and described the decision not to appoint any Labour members as “an act of political factionalism that is not in the interests of London working together.”
Under the Greater London Authority Act at least four board members of the LDA must be serving elected members of the London Assembly, London Borough Council or City of London Common Council and at least half of all members are required to be able to show experience of running a business.
The Mayor has also been attacked by Green Party London Assembly Member Jenny Jones for “not appointing environmental experts to the LDA board”.
Jones said “Despite recognising that climate change is one of the biggest threats facing London, Boris has failed to secure the team he needs to deliver on his promise to cut carbon emissions by 60% by 2025.”
“By not appointing environmental experts to the LDA board he is missing the chance to build on the good work already being done in London. There must now be very real concerns as to whether Boris has any plan or strategy to maintain London as a world leading sustainable city.”
All thirteen members of the new board officially took up their roles on Friday 1st August 2008 for a term of four years.