Last week I pre-recorded a short interview with BBC London which got bumped after Boris announced his 10% Council Tax saving.
Some of it aired tonight and seems to have gone down badly with a couple of Assembly Members because I was unable to name personal highlights from the current term.
I can understand people whose work isn’t championed feeling sore but I’m afraid I don’t keep a tally of favourite moments and which term they took place in. My geekery only goes so far.
Earlier in the interview I did highlight several examples of Assembly work including the 7/7 report which was praised by the coroner last year and the snow report which I compared favourably with the highly partisan report by the House of Commons transport select committee.
I also talked about about how the Assembly would become far more relevant to the daily discussion of key matters through the recent creation of the Policing and Crime Committee.
I also dismissed suggestions that a Commons select committee could replace the Assembly, citing how the City Hall electoral system is designed to ensure that voices across the political spectrum are represented.
I have absolutely no issue with the choice of clip the BBC used – I was always clear they’d only use part of the interview – it’s an unedited excerpt which faithfully recounts what I said including calling for the Assembly to have more powers so it can better do the job Londoners elect it to do.
But it’s also clearly an except and I’d have hoped experienced politicians might considered that before jumping on me.
In the fuller version of the interview I suggested that the Assembly do more to build its own brand and step out of the shadow of the Mayor.
One way it could do that is to establish londonassembly.gov.uk and finally be able to communicate with Londoners without being shoved to one side by the Mayoralty.
Perhaps something for the next Assembly to consider.
Update: Assembly Member Andrew Boff has called for more powers for the Assembly or abolition.