Assembly Members have unanimously rebuked Mayor Sadiq Khan after he failed to turn up to a key Q&A session on his recently published transport plans.
Instead of attending this morning’s meeting, Mr Khan sent Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross, in his place. While Ms Shawcross advises the Mayor on transport issues, Mr Khan has ultimate responsibility both for his transport strategy and Transport for London which he chairs.
Former Mayors Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson attended all transport ‘plenary’ sessions which they were invited to during their terms and AMs were unimpressed by Mr Khan’s discourtesy in not following their lead.
All five parties on the London Assembly unanimously agreed a motion requesting that in future Mr Khan attends meetings to which he is invited. The decision by Labour AMs to join their colleagues in criticising Mr Khan’s actions will be embarrassing for the Mayor.
The full text of the Motion reads: “This Assembly notes that both Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson attended every single Transport Plenary to which they were invited during their respective Mayoralties.
“This Assembly therefore notes with dismay the current Mayor Sadiq Khan’s absence from today’s Plenary meeting and puts on record its strong desire that this is the last time he misses a London Assembly meeting to which he is invited.”
In addition to skipping today’s session, Mr Khan is said to have missed a number of Bureau of Leaders meetings, a private session at which mayors and Assembly groups agree key City Hall business.
Gareth Bacon AM, who proposed the motion, said: “By failing to attend these meetings the Mayor has displayed a worrying level of contempt for the body that holds him to account.
“Sadiq Khan needs to realise it is not optional to answer questions about the decisions he has taken and the frustration among members of all parties has been growing.
“We took this unusual step today to send a very strong message to the Mayor. I hope he has listened and will be present at future meetings at City Hall.”