The One London Party has accused Conservative Mayoral Candidate Boris Johnson of displaying “ignorance of mayoral and London Assembly powers” after apparently misunderstanding the role of the Assembly in setting the GLA budget.
Mr Johnson, who is also MP for Henley has sponsored an Early Day Motion in the House of Comomons which states:
“This House notes that in May 2008 there is a possibility that at least two members of the BNP will gain a seat on the London Assembly. As things currently stand there is a grave risk of these two members of the BNP having a deciding vote on the Mayor’s budget.
This is a potentially disastrous situation in which a future Mayor of any party could depend on BNP support to pass his budget.”
Damian Hockney, leader of the One London Party said Mr Johnson “appears to misunderstand the Budget process in London.”
Under Greater London Authority rules the Mayor does not need support from the Assembly for his budget to come into effect, instead it is for opponents to muster the support of two thirds of Assembly Members if they wish to amend the bottom line of the budget.
Even if opponents are successful it is the Mayor who determines how the amendments will be implemented.
Explaining the budget setting process Mr Hockney says “One London would like to scrap the mayor’s propaganda sheet, ‘The Londoner’. This would save Londoners £3 million per year. But if two thirds of Assembly members agreed to cut the budget by £3 million, the Mayor has stated on the record that he would cut £3 million from something else (probably the Assembly budget!).”
“So for Boris Johnson to claim that he may be dependent ‘on BNP support to pass his budget’ is patent nonsense. Where was Boris Johnson when One London was campaigning for the Assembly to have line-by-line control over the Mayor’s budget? That really would have given a profligate mayor cause for concern. But isn’t that what Boris himself would want?”
Related link: Boris Has a Point But Needs Better Briefing