Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Independent audit finds that Boris 'misspent' taxes

An independent audit conducted by a panel of anti-Boris bloggers has concluded that Patience Wheatcroft and her team 'misspent' £50,000 of taxpayers money.

After months of briefings and hype, the team of Tory councillors and a Tory supporting journalist found absolutely no evidence of corruption or breached rules by Ken Livingstone, Lee Jasper or the LDA.

We can therefore only conclude that our money was misspent on a simply staggering scale, by a new Mayor who considers GLA funds to be his personal political cheque book.

Former mayor Ken Livingstone said last night:

“What a damp squib - Boris Johnson appointed his political henchmen to dig up dirt and this is all they could come up with. Patience Wheatcroft misunderstands the nature of the mayoral system in London. 

The electorate select a mayor whose values they share and judgement they trust, and then it is up to that person to get on and take decisions for London. If you don't like those decisions you can be pejorative and call them 'whims,' or you can say that the mayor is setting our strategic priorities.”

The independent audit panel of anti-Boris bloggers does not believe that a formal investigation should be undertaken into the appointment of Patience Wheatcroft and her team. 

Nor do we consider any separate investigation should be undertaken into the millions of pounds 'misspent' on the new Routemaster, the transition team or on paying off Porsche.

However, after careful and costly consideration, we do conclude that Boris should kindly get on with running the capital in the ways that voters elected him to do.


ch paul said...

You forgot about the money 'misspent' on bluewashing the website.

The Tory Troll said...

Ah yes the website. Another investigation then. Someone phone PWC!

Anonymous said...

You just wait till Boris appoints his 'ol mate Darrius Guppy as his 'Economic Adviser' then the sparks will fly!!

Anonymous said...

Is that it? Is that fucking it? I can't wait for the Evening Standard headline:


Or maybe not.

pastyface said...

All this audit has managed is the usual creation of a straw man argument that they can then claim the agency has mispent millions of taxpayers money. When all they found is that they don't like places the money has gone too.

Can we expect a forensic audit panel of the Labour Government when/if the Tories win the next election

What they may manage to do is stop Boris from supporting any causes we don't like. Latin for hoodies or whatever

Mr. Stop Boris said...

That Teletext story has gone, although its headline is pretty clear from its URL. Do Boris and his FAP cronies have enough influence over Teletext to get news stories pulled if they don't fit their spun message?

barry rochford said...

Even if the Standard had a headline 'Ray Lewis ate my hamster', no one would notice as Standard readership was doing pretty badly anyway, but its credibility hit rock bottom following their unbelievable biased support for Boris. Does anyone have their recent (audited of course!) sales figures to hand?

harold said...

Darrius Guppy? Why not make him chair of met police authority?

organic cheeseboard said...

She said she was not able to give an exact figure on how much money had been wasted

not sure how this 'forensic audit' was conducted. isn't the whole point of an audit to work out, well, exactly that?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Lee Jasper

Press Release 15 July 2008

Mayor’s report finds no evidence of fraud, corruption or cronyism.

In relation to Boris Johnsons Forensic Audit Panel (FAP) report published today Lee Jasper issued the following statement.

“ I have always maintained that I was innocent of the scandalous and malicious allegations made against me by the media and in particular the Evening Standard. My professional and political integrity and reputation have been badly damaged by these false allegations. My good name has been dragged through mud and both I am and my family have endured a high tech media lynching.
I contend that this panel finding on ‘ wasted millions’ is nothing more than political posturing and constitutes another attack on the black community of London.

Put simply this Tory dominated panel in talking about waste are referring to black organisations and no doubt we can look forward to more cuts in black voluntary funding by the London Development Agency,

The Evening Standard along with other media promoted this racist campaign and the London Conservatives prosecuted the case. ALL salivated at the racial dynamic and the short-term political capital that could be gained by seeking to demonise London’s Black community and a high profile black man witiihin the Livingstone administration. In doing so they simply considered the black community no more than collateral damage in conducting their dirty war to win the elections.

The damage done and the implications that flow from it will reverberate throughout this Mayoralty.
I would like to thank all those thousands of people who have offered and provided much needed support to my family and I throughout this difficult period.

This report constitutes the fifth in depth public scrutiny looking at the serious allegations and issues raised by the Evening Standard and their investigative reporter Andrew Gilligan.
These articles were largely based on a number of emails that were stolen from the Mayor’s Office.
The essence and strong implication of these articles is best summed up by the Evening Standard’s front-page headline of the 5th December 2007 ‘ Ken’s Aide and the missing millions’. What followed was a deluge of front-page articles making over 17 individual allegations.

In short The Evening Standard had alleged that the London Development Agency awarded contracts and funding to organisation's because of their personal friendships with me or because of inappropriate interference by myself. Further that these organizations having received public funds could not properly account for the monies they had received.

The FAP having conducted a forensic financial audit and has re examined all of the issues relating to the Standards false accusations of ‘fraud’ and ‘ cronyism’.

On this substantive point the FAP report is absolutely clear in its findings. After conducting their forensic financial analysis they have failed to find any evidence whatsoever of fraudulent activity on my part nor have they found any evidence that I unduly influenced LDA decisions.

I have always maintained my innocence of the false charges made by the Evening Standard and prosecuted by London Conservatives and Boris Johnson.

This ‘ independent’ investigation has been far from independent. The Chair Patience Wheatcroft is a member of the Conservative Party. The other panel members, Stephen Greenhalgh, Edward Lister and Patrick Frederick are all members of the Conservative Party. He fifth member is an employee of PWC employed by Boris Johnson to work for the panel.

I contend that this panel finding on ‘ wasted millions’ constitutes a party political witchunt. The Tories are talking about black groups and they should say so.

As well as the obvious lack of impartiality I find it deeply ironic that the son of the Chair of the FAP, A Mr. Kelham Salter, has been appointed to a post in the GLA and that a member of the Panel is an employee of a firm contracted by the panel to investigate these issues at a cost of over £50,000.”


Anonymous said...

Possibly not old bean. If I read aright, Miss Wheatcroft said that Lee Jasper's corruption was none of her business, because it was a case for the Met.

Awaiting Sir Ian's scrupulously impartial investigation......

Helen said...

"There may also be scope for reviewing the list of events offered through Events for London; it is possible that a detailed critical analysis could generate substantial savings, particularly if entireevents such as the ‘Rise Festival’ (which cost over £300,000) were cancelled"

Oh, why did it cost that much? Hmm.

The Tory Troll said...

Well spot Helen.

Anonymous said...

Fact is that no evidence of corruption was found even by a Tory Audit Panel. You not seriously suggesting that had they uncovered any evidence of such they would not have said so. Read the report its quite clear - no evidence was found period,

In realtion to the police, if my memory serves my right, it was Jasper himself who asked for all these matters to be referred in Feb of this year - hardly they actions of corrupt official and some 8 months later if they have not arrested him, they are not now likely to do so not least because the overwhelmingly negative press coverage would have comprimised thier investtigation.

Saw him on the BBC lunchtime news he looked very calm and very confident.

barry rochford said...

I cannot really add to Lee Jasper's statement. Worth pointing out that The probe found that Lee was not responsible for fraud and broke no rules. Now if four Tories and someone from Price WaterHouse find that to be true - it must be true. The Met have found no evidence of fraud.
So, having spent months defaming Lee, what does the Standard come up with today? Million were wasted and wouldn't be wasted again.
What does this amount to? £17.4m on consultatnts. Have they asked Simon Milton how much Westminster (a small authority) spends on consultants? Supposing they were now going to spoend nothing on consultants: (can you imagine Tim Parker without consultants?) How much would that be per household?
Before you go out and spend your £1.85 saving, consider this. The LDA are accused of wadsting money. (8% of enterprises set up were successful, well above the average that any bank would ever claim. Are they saying that too many businesses were run by black people - is that their agenda?
Well, one thing is clear - Boris won't be wasting GLA money on women as is evident by the lack of women in senior posts. Ditto black people.
That seems to be the agenda which the attacks on Lee Jasper were really all about.

sarah hart said...

Absolutely clear. All that this band of Tory forensic scientists care about is keeping women and black people away from top posts. (Or any popst if they can). As Tim Parker put it in relation to why women are not appointed at the top: 'you need certains skills and experience'. What skills and experience does he keep outside of his underpants?

stuart graham said...

Here's on to watch if we're talking about corruption, nepotism, chronyism or just plain toryism:
A friend of mine has just informed me that Eastside Young Leader’s Academy has an 'expression of interest' in the franchise for Pimlico School. (An expression of interest = a bid). So what, you say? Eastside Young Leader’s Academy is closely aligned to a certain Ray Lewis (once of London Deputy Mayor fame). Pimlico School is in Simon Milton's (ex) Westminster. No link there, then.
Talking of wasted public money, if anyone wants to do a serious audit, do it on the amount wasted on City Academies (yes, I know it's not the Tories setting them up, but their mates are raking it in there).

The Tory Troll said...

Well in Simon Milton's world schools should draw a profit. No potential for cronyism and corruption there. No sir.

harold said...

Is it me?
We have months of hype and then Boris sets up a forensic team. The team of 4 Tories and an auditor finds that unspecified amounts of money have been passed to unspecified people ant unspecified times in unspecified places. But we are sure that whoever it was was wasting tax payers money but neither Mr Livingstone or Mr Jasper have broken any rules and the police investiogation has found nothing.
Evening Standard headline? 'Scandal of missing millions'.
If Mrs Wheatcroft audited our local Scouts' accounts like this she'd be sacked!

A casual observer said...

Here is my favourite section of the FAP report, inserted on page 51:

"There is some anecdotal evidence that the previous Chief Executive congratulated people who spent up to budget in the year"

For those who don't see how ridiculous it is to print those words within what should be a respectable official report, I thought I would provide a dictionary definition of 'anecdotal evidence':

"An informal form of hearsay obtained from random sources and having no legal basis."


"We suspect that projects may have benefited also from this desire to use up the budget."

Suspect? In an official report the panel decide that guessing is appropriate.