Boris Johnson tonight headed-off the results of a GLA Standards investigation into his conduct, by releasing a summary of a report prepared for its consideration.
The statement released by the Mayor's office gives the impression (as seen here, here and here) that Boris has been cleared of all breaches of the GLA code.
It also bemoans the £11,000 spent by the authority on investigating the case.
However, the relevant City Hall Standards Committee appointed to decide the case, is not even due to decide the case until next week.
And when the Committee does meet, they may decide to refer Boris to an official hearing, whereupon he may still be found to have broken the code of conduct.
Extraordinary and Unwise
(Update- I now have the report. More later).
However, Len Duvall has now revealed some more of the report's contents. In a statement released within the last hour he said:
"I welcome Mr Goolden's finding that the Mayor's actions were 'extraordinary and unwise' and his implication that this must never happen again. Anyone who reads this report will see that this it is a very serious and unprecedented warning to Mr Johnson. He has had a lucky escape on technicalities and been given the benefit of the doubt this time but in my view his actions were reckless, improper and made for political advantage. They also have clear and serious implications for future police investigations."I remain of the view that Mr Johnson tried to help out his friend by ringing him to discuss his case, then saying three times in public that he did not think the police investigation would produce a charge. Unless he is going to contact all criminal suspects, I fail to see how Mr Johnson has not shown favour to his friend, colleague and political ally. There are a number of questions the Mayor still needs to answer about who knew what when, and why he contacted the people he did."It is now for the Standards Boards of the GLA and MPA to look carefully at Mr Goolden's report and to agree the proposed new rules governing Mr Johnson's future actions and conduct."
According to Duvall the report found that:
- Were “extraordinary and unwise” (paragraph 8.20)
- Might “inhibit full and free discussion” of high profile cases “between the chief officer of police and a police authority chairman” (6.33)
- “Placed him at risk of being called as a witness by either the CPS or defence in any criminal prosecution of Mr Green, to the potential detriment of his office as Chairman of the MPA” (8.21)
- Risked being “perceived as furthering private interests” (8.21)
Until we can see the whole thing, it's impossible to judge exactly how critical or otherwise it is. Also, some of it's findings are still being contested by members of the committee.
With this in mind you may have expected the Mayor to hold off this press release until the Committee meets next week.
But then why would we expect the small matters of due process and accountability to get in the way of another piece of Mayoral spin?
-Update- Iain Dale and Con Home have fallen into line.