The Conservatives today declared the election of a Green party member to Chair the London Assembly as a 'squalid stitch up' by 'a ragbag of minorities'
Speaking at today's Assembly AGM, Tony Arbour said:
"London is a Conservative City. We control all of the boroughs. Last year we demonstrated we dominate London-wide politics and on June 4th we will be crushing all of the other parties in London..."We have had a demonstration this morning of how ridiculous proportional representation really is. Because of a squalid stitch up between a rag bag of minorities, has meant that this Assembly in its every day activities is dominated by people who do not represent London."
Also speaking against the election of Darren Johnson, disgraced former Chairman Brian Coleman said:
"In moving [for Andrew Boff instead of Johnson] the Assembly will have a Chairman who will not be briefed against by their own group. Who will turn up at functions when he is expected to turn up at functions. Who will not have to be accompanied by an officer on to the eighth floor in case they say something out of place or surrender without a fight..."Who can make a decent speech at a public function. Who does not need a word for word briefing for Assembly meetings and can deal with unexpected occurrences whether they're in the public gallery or on the floor of this chamber. Who can restore the dignity of this Assembly and reassert its authority in relation to the Executive and allow this Assembly to do the job that Londoner's elected it to do..."and who also won't serve roast beef without horseradish sauce at dinner."
The speech by Coleman (who did not go into detail about the horseradish incident) was described as 'offensive' by other AMs.
Departing Chair Jennette Arnold also pointed out that she had attented functions at 'a quarter' of the cost of Brian Coleman when he had been the Assembly Chair.
Why the Conservatives should be stitched up
If the London Assembly was a legislative body then of course I agree that it should be led by the group with the largest share of the vote.
But with it's only role being to scrutinise a Conservative Mayor then it makes no sense that the scrutinising should be led by the Conservative AMs themselves.
And while Andrew Boff would also probably make a good chairman, the same cannot be said of the Tories' candidate for Deputy Chair Lady Victoria Borwick.
Earlier this year Borwick was investigated and then apologised for using her position on the Transport Committee to promote her husband's electric vehicle business.
You can read a very interesting interview with the new Chairman of the Assembly over at Mayorwatch.
-Update- Nick points out in the comments that the Tory group made a very similar 'stitch-up' deal with the Lib Dems in 2004. Hypocrites.