Tuesday, 3 June 2008

The secret cost of Boris Johnson's transition team

Boris Johnson's 'transition team' of spinners and fixers are being paid an astonishing £465,000 to settle him into the job.

In a written response to a question by Darren Johnson, Boris last week refused to reveal how much the public are paying for his team of PR professionals, ex campaign team members and ex Consevative HQ officials.

But in a statement sneaked out in a report to the Business Management and Administration Committee, Team Boris admit that costs for transiton are 'not expected to exceed £425,000'.

However when contacted by the Evening Standard, the Mayor's office then said that the costs would actually more likely be in the range of £465,000. A discrepancy of some £40,000. There has been no indication where this extra money has gone. 

This cost, is also roughly 70% as large as the yearly cost of Boris's permanent deputies and advisors. Unlike these advisors however, some of the transition team are only expected to be in the job for just one month. Putting the cost of Boris's temporary spinners and fixers at a proportionately much higher rate.

There is also still no indication of precisely what role each transition member currently has in City Hall. But whatever it is, it is certainly paying them well.

-AFTERNOON UPDATE- Labour Assembly Member John Biggs said in response to this story: 

"The Mayor made a great play of being and open and transparent from day one but this is the latest incident to cast real doubt on this promise... All the Mayor has revealed so far is that his Tory consultants are costing Londoners half a million pounds and some are being paid an equivalent of over £300k a year. I'm not sure how this represents tax payer value for money." 

The Troll's not too sure either. Over to you then Boris.


stevep said...

unaccountability and tax-payer disvalue in one go. What a tight ship you're running Boris

Anonymous said...

That's a lot of money for just a couple of months work. how much help does he need in settling into the job. Couldn't they have found someone who could have got going on his own. We could have employed another couple of Mayors (and ones who know what they're doing) for that price.

And what was it he used to go on about: "i think Londoners would want a couple less consultants and a lot more conductors." You were saying Boris...

Mr. Stop Boris said...

This smells strongly like paying back the team that helped him get elected out of the public purse, without any details of what they're doing to deserve the cash.

Only smells strongly like it, mind - without the transparency Boris promised, we've no way of proving or disproving the obvious suspicion.

Helen said...

I do hope the forensic audit team are scrutinising the "work" of the consultants and will provide a full report.

Why is Munira Mirza paid £20 000 less than any of Boris's new permanent staff? Surely that's contravening the GLA's Equal Opportunities policy?

The Tory Troll said...

Helen - Kulveer who let it slip that *whispers* there probably won't be any new Routemasters, is also getting less although not as much of a reduction of Mirza. Mirza has been in the press of late for not agreeing with the tube booze ban. Perhaps they're being paid in order of blind loyalty to Boris

Otherwise I'm not quite sure why she would be getting so much less than her colleagues. However, it does fit in with the Cameroon tendency to keep Women out of the top levels of power as evidenced by the Shadow Cabinet.

Bobbin said...

It looks like payback time as Mr Stop Boris says.

Aardvark said...

Just a thought - during the election campaign, didn't Boris pledge to make public the email addresses and telephone numbers of his key advisers? Hands up if you didn't think that just meant copying and pasting the generic mayor@london.gov.uk email and the City Hall switchboard number below each one's entry on the GLA website?

Praguetory said...

There be skeletons to shake down in City Hall.