Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Power Struggle at City Hall as Boles gets the blame

As City Hall descends into yet another leadership crisis, Boris Johnson's transition chief is again being lined up for the blame.

Nick Boles who last month acted as the fall guy for the Ray Lewis fiasco, is now being linked to the resignations of all three high-level Boris Johnson appointments.

Paul Waugh of the Evening Standard reports on his blog:

Insiders claim that Mr Boles was closely involved in the appointment of each of the three figures who have been forced to quit - former Deputy Mayor Ray Lewis, former deputy chief of staff James McGrath and now Tim Parker.

I'm told that a power struggle with Sir Simon Milton was part of the reason for the latest departure of Mr Parker (the vastly more experienced Milton having been installed as policy chief), as well as an insistence from TfL chief Tim O'Toole that he would not take orders from anyone on transport other than the Mayor). Yet Boles had reassurred Boris that Parker was the man to effectively "run London" on his behalf.

Leaving the insight about Milton and O'Toole to one side for a moment, there does seem to be a fascinating blame game going on here.

When Ray Lewis got himself into trouble, the Mayor's spin operation first blamed a nameless left-wing conspiracy, then they blamed the Bishops, then they blamed Nick Boles, then they blamed Boris's election chief, then they blamed the law itself, and now they're back to blaming Nick Boles again.

Now has anyone stopped to think here that maybe, just maybe, the person to blame might actually be the Mayor himself?


TheGreenTop said...

Whilst I think Boles is a noxious character and deserves this little piece of karma (even if it comes from the equally distasteful Standard), I must leap to his defence here, at least over the Ray Lewis affair.

Ken Livingstone was apparently overheard heaping praise on Lewis whilst watching him in action from the public gallery - even saying that he 'wished I'd got him involved in my set-up.' So it's not only Boles that has been hoodwinked.

The Troll said...

And to be fair to Livingstone, it wasn't really his job to check out Lewis.

But that aside, Boles is clearly being used as a scapegoat here.

Anonymous said...

Do you reckon he even realises Tim Parker has resigned yet?

angelneptunestar said...

But all you guys couldn't stand Tim Parker, you called him the Prince of Darkness, made fun of him and prophesied doom and gloom. Now he's gone, you should be jumping for joy!

How will we ever know if Boles was to blame, we can only speculate. Maybe he was to blame, who knows?

As for Ray Lewis, that was a huge shame, he has done a huge amount of good but under the circumstances, he could not continue. The overall project was just too important to be derailed by constant bad press about his past, most of which was inflated.


Mr. Stop Boris said...

Is that quote from Waugh right? "Milton having been installed as policy chief"? I thought that was Anthony Browne's job, Director of Policy. No wonder they're all falling out with each other if there's confusion over who's actually in charge of what.

The Troll said...

It is confusing, but Waugh is right. Milton is 'Deputy for Policy and Planning' which kind of overlapped with Parker, Browne (and Boris).

No wonder there is so much jostling going on.

organic cheeseboard said...


actually harvey dent says that, and look how he ends up.

angelneptunestar said...

Organic Cheeseboard. Not quite accurate. He ends up having his reputation saved by Batman, and is eulogised by the commissioner as

"...a hero. Not the hero we deserved - the hero we needed. Nothing less than a knight. Shining."

Poor poor man, went mad with grief. Tremendous film though, I have been to see it four times.

organic cheeseboard said...

Organic Cheeseboard. Not quite accurate.

actually it is accurate - Harvey Dent says it in the restaurant scene.

I agree a very good film.

angelneptunestar said...

I meant it wasn't accurate that Harvey ended up badly - your statement was right. He ended up dead, but his reputation was saved and he died a hero in the eyes of Gotham City. We need things to believe in and ideals to look up to.

ps. the musical score was great, wasn't it?