A Conservative Assembly Member has apologised after being found to have used taxpayers money to promote her husband's business.
One time mayoral hopeful Lady Victoria Borwick sent out letters to fellow Assembly members and London Council leaders stating that:
"we are often discussing ways of helping reduce noise levels and pollution and I realized that most people are not aware of the various fully electric options available to us.”
In order to make them more aware, she included brochures for Modec Electric Vehicles, a company chaired by her husband Lord Borwick.
The letters, which were written on GLA-headed paper prompted complaints that she had misused taxpayer money in order to 'secure an unfair advantage.'
An investigation was launched by the GLA Standards Committee, which has now concluded.
Borwick has agreed to repay the money and to send out written apologies. No further action will be taken by the GLA.
In a letter mailed to all those who received the brochure, Borwick writes:
"I wrote to you in October 2008 in relation to London’s challenging targets for the reduction of carbon emissions. I enclosed with that letter, for information purposes, a brochure on Modec commercial electric vehicles. In that letter I openly and fully declared my interest because my husband is Chairman of the company. You should know that, because I was mindful of the proprieties in this, prior to sending that information I sought advice and approval from the Head of Legal and Procurement and Monitoring Officer of the GLA, and on the basis of that guidance I sent the letter. However, on reflection, and even having taken the above steps, I am concerned lest it could be thought that my letter might appear to fall under the category of “using a position to secure an unfair advantage for any person”. This was, and is, clearly not my intention. I do hope this clarification is helpful and I apologise to anyone who might have been misled."
Don't worry Victoria. It's all crystal clear to me.