Boris Johnson did not even formally meet with his new Policy Director Anthony Browne before handing him a six figure salary position at City Hall.
Documents released to the London Assembly today reveal that the director of Policy Exchange, had just one 'telephone interview' with the mayor before landing the role.
In a letter sent to the london Assembly Chair Jennette Arnold, Boris states that:
"there was no requirement to appoint on merit. I did however review his CV and conducted a telephone interview with him (as he was out of the country at the time) to satisfy myself of his competency for the role."
Browne was officially appointed on the 21 July but has not yet started work at City Hall. He will receive a salary of £124,364 which is exactly the same as the Deputy Mayors.
However, unlike the remaining Deputy Mayors there was no formal recruitment process or interview panel and there will be no formal evaluation of his salary. According to Boris:
"The Policy Director (political advisor) post is generic and it is not therefore possible to evaluate this post formally. However, I am content that the requirements of the role make it commensurate with the other Deputy Mayor posts and therefore content that it should be renumerated accordingly."
Quite how 'generic' Browne's role in City Hall will be is not yet clear.
But after the forced departure of three of his previous advisors, Boris will be hoping to prevent as much controversy with this one as he can.