Paul Waugh has the reaction from Team Boris to Brian Coleman's humiliating refusal to publish his expenses.
According to Paul:
"He will be forced to give the details on 15 July when publication becomes mandatory, but sources close to the Mayor made clear his irritation at the failure to come clean."Boris has made it clear from day one that transparency and openness are the heart of his administration. He's tried hard to persuade the Labour party to agree to this," one ally said."He is disappointed when any Assembly member doesn't appreciate that the public rightly expect to know what's being done by their elected representatives in their name and with their money."
Now I don't know who this 'ally' of Boris is, although they seem to be spinning the exact same line spun to Iain Dale last week.
Unfortunately there's no evidence for it.
I've seen no evidence whatsoever that Labour Assembly Members have resisted their expenses being published and there is little remarkable in any of those published yesterday.
Team Boris are trying to spray some flak onto former Chair of the Assembly Jennette Arnold.
But her claims for taxis pale into insignificance when compared to Brian Coleman, Deputy Mayor Richard Barnes, and Boris himself.
It is true that she used her GLA taxi card for personal journeys but that is explicitly within the rules as long as the cost of those journeys are paid back.
And her fares get nowhere near the three figure amounts spent by both Brian, Barnes and the Mayor himself.
She's also paid back the cost of taxis waiting for longer than 20 minutes (the maximum time allowed within the rules). Have Boris, Barnes, or Brian done the same?
And if "transparency and openness are the heart of [Boris's] administration" why is it that he has he now twice appointed the contemptuous Brian Coleman to chair the London Fire Authority?
The man remains a total liability. He has always been a liability, and yet Boris consistently refuses to replace him with someone else.
What does that say about Boris's commitment to "transparency and openness" and what does that say about his continuing ability to choose the wrong man for the job?
And what's Brian Coleman's reaction to all of this? Is he shamed, contrite, or repentant? Don't be silly.
"Mr Coleman, who was unavailable for comment, has told colleagues that he believes it would be more cost effective to have a permanent City Hall car and driver available for official functions."
Why travel by cab, when you could travel by chauffeur instead? What a total embarrassment this man is.
-Update- Barnet Times: "Will leopard change it's spots?"
-Update 2- Brian Coleman has finally responded. Here's what he told the Evening Standard's Paul Waugh:
"I won't do it voluntarily. It's none of the public's business. They have coped well without knowing this kind of detail for more that 75 years,” he said.“They are not entitled to drool over our personal lives. I'm not going to help the mad, bad and the sad, the bloggers on the internet. I'm not pandering to mob rule. It undermines democracy to suggest that all MPs, all politicians are the spawn of Beelzebub.“Politicians with lower expenses tend to be the politicians who do least work. Those with higher expenses are the ones who do most work.”
There's not much that can be said about that.
Brian Coleman clearly has nothing but contempt for those people who elected him or for the wishes of the Mayor.
He should be sacked from LFEPA immediately.