Friday, 4 July 2008

Boris Johnson ducks Ray Lewis questions at launch

Boris Johnson refused to answer any questions about his Deputy Mayor this morning, as details emerged of the investigation being launched into claims of sexual and financial misconduct.

Speaking at the launch of the competition to design a new Routemaster, Boris initially said that he would only answer questions on buses, but was eventually forced to commit to answering other questions after the launch.

But before he could be held to his promise, the Mayor was quickly ushered out of the back door leaving all other questions to Peter Hendy and his press team.

However, despite Boris's reluctance to discuss the matter, the Troll understands that an investigation will begin next Tuesday. It will be led by the current head of Barnardo's, Martin Narey.

The Investigation

Narey is highly respected and has great experience in dealing with such sensitive issues. However, there may be a conflict of interest, with his previous role as the Director General of the Prison service during Lewis's time as a prison governor. 

There are also question about who will foot the cost of the investigation. The inquiry which is expected to last a matter of "weeks rather than months" will be run by Narey who will, I am told, be 'compensated' for his time away from Barnardo's.

What will it cover?

However, some of the most serious allegations will not be covered by the investigation. 

A spokesman for the Mayor said that Narey would not be looking at the allegations of child abuse at the Eastside Academy, nor at the reasons why Newham Council withdrew funding from the project.

However, what the inquiry will concentrate on is the Church of England file, the details of which have not yet been published. 

The contents of the file have been described as 'truly shocking' by those who have seen it. The Mayor's office on the other hand, insist that it's claims appear to be 'completely groundless.'


Helen said...

Let's hope the file isn't inexplicably lost in the post...

Anonymous said...

So basically they're not going to touch any of the key allegations and the investigation is being run by someone he used to work with. Hmm. Not looking especially independent so far.

Chris said...

What was it Boris was saying about paper shredders. Not so funny when it's your pal's job who is on the line eh?

This is the problem when a politician runs on a ticket of anti-sleaze. You leave yourself no leeway when things go wrong.

angelneptunestar said...

He's not ducking anything, the investigation hasn't been held yet.

The Tory Troll said...

Angela. I was at the press conference this morning and he refused to answer any questions on Ray or the investigation. He then promised that he would answer some after the launch but then promptly disappeared before anyone could ask him those questions. If that isn't ducking then I don't know what is.

Tom C said...

This 'investigation' already has echoes of Hutton with the person chosen and the limited terms of reference. For his own sake there should be a thorough investigation of ALL the claims, otherwise this is always going to hang over him and he won't be able to get on with doing his job which after all is a very important one.

Tom said...

It's the terms of reference that matter more than the person, Narey I've always thought quite highly of, mainly for his eloquent and believable criticisms of New Labour penal policy, but if he's not actually allowed to investigate reasonably freely it's not going to clear everything up.

Having said that, surely Boris wouldn't give Narey the job if he (Boris) was aware that the allegations within the terms of reference were true, that would be suicidal.

The Tory Troll said...

Yes, as ever the devil is in the detail. The Mayor's spokesman said that the file would be 'the starting point' for the investigation but ruled out investigating anything that would 'pre-empt' police investigations. The lack of investigation into alleged abuse at the academies is more worrying. That surely, is the most important issue at stake here, rather than money being borrowed in the past, given that Lewis is about to launch many more academies.