Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Two Tories rewarded for misconduct and greed

There have been two stories in this past week that neatly sum up the current state of play in Tory London.

Last week a Conservative member of Boris Johnson's Fire Authority was suspended from Brent council for serious misconduct.

Understandably there were immediate calls for her to stand down from her position on LFEPA.

However, rather than stand down, it soon became clear that the Tories actually wanted to promote her to a new role as Deputy Chair.

Urged to prevent this, Boris stood aside and allowed her to be rewarded with this new role (and allowance) instead.

Now thanks to Boris, the disgraced and suspended Cllr Bertha Joseph will join the even more disgraced Cllr Brian Coleman in representing the Fire Service to Londoners.


Earlier this year the Standard also exposed the Tory leader of London Councils Merrick Cockell for his love of transatlantic junkets and taxpayer-funded limousines.

Like his sometime dining companion Ian Clement, Mr Cockell's grand visits to luxury international hotels were financed at the not so grand local-taxpayers' expense

However, while Clement lied about his dining companions, Cockell failed to even declare the "colleague" he shared a meal with at the Four Seasons restaurant, New York.

Asked who this person was, and what they were discussing, Cockell would only say that he had forgotten.

Repeatedly pushed on why this was, Cockell finally replied:

From: ""
To: ***********
Sent: Monday, 21 September, 2009 11:57:38 AM
Subject: RE: January 2007

Dear Mr *******

I regret that I do not have this information from two and a half years
ago. Had I the information you are requesting then it would have been
provided in response to your earlier FOI and other enquiries.

Yours sincerely,

Councillor Merrick Cockell

Leader, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

So how has Cockell's incompetence and greed been dealt with? Well with a lovely new role on the Audit Commision of course.

And where are those other tireless defenders of taxpayer value, the Taxpayers' Alliance when you need them?

Well they're tirelessly defending a Tory MP of course.


Tony said...

Not to mention Veronica Wadley rewarded for screwing up the Evening Standard with a job as London arts chair.

AdamB said...

She hasn't got the job yet but yes you're right. Just rewards they are not.

Notamused said...

Cockell has become a real liability to the Tory Party. Time for him to fall on his sword or to be pushed.

Rog T said...

I doubt that the Tories think anyone is a liabilty so long as they can push through a right wing agenda

AdamB said...

Yes Rog, unfortunately I doubt Cockell will be too worried. Here's a list of his current roles:

(i) Leader of K&C (£66k/yr)
(ii) Chairman of London Councils (£20k/yr)
(iii) Chairman Kensington & Chelsea Partnership
(iv) Chairman Conservative Councillors Association
(v) Chairman Localis Research
(vi) Board of the Audit Commission (£14k/yr)
(vii) Member Central London Forward
(viii) Member Local Govt Employers
(ix) Member Birmingham City Council Experience Board
(x) Chairman Portobello Business Centre
(xi) Chairman Chelsea Arts Theatre
(xii) Member of Conservative Party Board

The Conservative Party Board is the "ultimate decision making body of the party. Here's the full list of members

The Lord Ashcroft KCMG
Charles Barwell
Cllr Merrick Cockell
Catrin Edwards
Lady Hodgson
Timothy Kirkhope MEP
George Kynoch
Ian McIsaac
Jeremy Middleton
Richard Ottaway MP
Eric Pickles MP
Emma Pidding
The Rt Hon the Baroness Shephard of Northwold
Michael Spencer
Sir Michael Spicer MP
Graham Stuart MP
Paul Swaddle
John Whittingdale OBE MP

He's not going anywhere fast.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

He's still cheaper than Coleman!

AdamB said...

Of course I wouldn't want to take away Coleman's crown as the least value-for-money councillor in Britain. He might get upset.

Anonymous said...

Out of interest, does suspension from a borough council have any effect on GLA? Also, should charges be proven at local level, does the GLA and the Mayor have to act?

AdamB said...

As far as I know there's no compulsion for them to act and the two usually act independently anyway. So with Richard Barnbrook's recent joint hearing between the GLA and Barking and Dagenham, each body imposed a different set of sanctions.