London politicians have been giving their reaction to the resignation of Tim Parker from the role of ‘First Deputy Mayor’, which was announced by City Hall this morning.
Jennette Arnold AM, Chair of the London Assembly:“The London Assembly raised concerns about Tim Parker’s appointment as Chair of Transport for London (TfL) and how the position would work alongside his other role in the GLA group. This latest news confirms our concerns were justified.
The Assembly demanded clarity on the precise nature and responsibilities, including any staff management role, of the GLA Group Chief Executive. Therefore we welcome today’s announcement as it indicates Boris Johnson has realised that as elected Mayor he must take more of a central decision-making role rather than delegating his responsibilities to his deputies.
The Assembly’s role is to hold the Mayor to account on behalf of Londoners, and as part of this, we will be looking closely at this seemingly shambolic situation to ensure it doesn’t affect the Mayor’s ability to run London effectively.”
Darren Johnson AM, Green Party: “Tim Parker is the third key figure to resign in less than four months, reflecting the rushed nature of appointments and giving an appearance of chaos in the new administration. Londoners deserve a better deal from the man they have entrusted to run their city.”
Statement from London Assembly Labour Group: “Relationships on the 8th floor are riddled with tensions and, whilst Boris was keen to give him this position of First Deputy Mayor, Parker’s colleagues were clearly not supportive. Parker himself has always been “Chief Beast” in his jungle and it was clearly not going to operate in that way here.
Parker must have been aghast at all the chaos surrounding the first 100 days of Boris Johnson. Parker has a serious reputation in the private sector – why on earth would he risk it in this chaos?
The Mayor is now in an unsustainable position. In addition to being Mayor, he says he wants to Chair the Police Authority, Transport for London and the new Waste Authority. Additionally, having delegated his planning powers he recently took them back. He needs to find some competent deputies to share his responsibilities – instead it looks like they are fighting like rats in a sack. He has also lost two Deputy Mayors and a senior adviser in controversial circumstances. As if that was not enough, he has failed in his promise to give a clear statement of priorities and ‘direction of travel’. London is drifting and Boris is the Captain. Can he afford to go to Beijing during this crisis? When will this chaos end?”
Mike Tuffrey AM, Liberal Democrat Group Leader: “To lose one advisor is unfortunate, to lose two is careless but to lose three in four months shows the wheels are coming off this new administration.
”Why is Boris losing yet another advisor? Has Tim Parker discovered that running London isn’t as easy as running private business?”
Ken Livingstone, Former Mayor of London: “Tim Parker was supposed to be the cornerstone of Boris Johnson’s administration. His exit after just a couple of months in fact confirms the chaos which has existed in Boris Johnson’s administration since day one. This is the third resignation of one of Boris Johnson’s most senior officers in only three months – following Deputy Mayor Ray Lewis and Deputy Chief of Staff James McGrath and other Deputy Mayors and top appointees are known to be at one another’s throats within City Hall. All this flows from Boris Johnson’s incoherent policies for London and therefore incapacity to run the city.
While some Tory sections of the press gave a glowing evaluation of Boris Johnson’s first 100 days the reality was quite different and those following the administration closely were fully aware of the growing chaos at its heart. The resignation the First Deputy Mayor brings this chaos right out into the open.
This latest resignation, after Boris Johnson’s Deputy Chief of Staff and his deputy Ray Lewis, indicates how unfit the Tories are not only to run London but also the country.”
Hazel Blears MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government: ‘To lose one Deputy Mayor might be regarded as a misfortune but to lose two looks like carelessness.
Three months in, Boris Johnson has now received the resignations of two Deputy Mayors and his Deputy Chief of Staff. People across the country, not just in London, can see for themselves that after just three months the new Tory administration in London is in complete disarray.”