Boris Johnson has brought back his disgraced former Deputy Mayor Ray Lewis for a new role at City Hall.
No, really. He has:
Mr Lewis's return as an adviser appeared to be a deliberate attempt by Mr Johnson to rehabilitate his friend.The founder of the Eastside Young Leaders Academy was hired as a deputy mayor with responsibility for young people in a blaze of publicity soon after the 2008 mayoral election.But he was forced to quit his post after the Ministry of Justice confirmed he had falsely claimed on his CV that he had been a magistrate. Mr Lewis had also faced allegations of sexual and financial misconduct which he denied and no police action was taken.
Lewis is to be part of a new "mentoring" scheme for troubled youths. Here's how he usually goes about that job:
"We! Are! The! Young! Leaders'! Academy!" the boys chant at the end of a morning's drill, as Lewis enters the hall. "What are you looking at his bottom for?" he barks at a young adolescent. "You a batty boy?" His gaze sweeps up and down the lines. "I don't see any rhythm in this room. You move like poonani!" One boy is ordered to face the wall with his hands on his head, another to drop to the floor for 10 press-ups. "Are you looking at me?" Lewis glares at another. "I'm not your friend. Why are you looking at me?"Someone," Lewis announces, "has been going to the Paki shop across the road. And stealing from that shop. Does anybody know who the guilty party is? Say so now!" His eye falls on a tiny 10-year-old. "Carl! Was it you, Carl? Did you steal from the aforementioned shop? Forget the lie. Did you steal the sweets? Boys, quiet, this is a court of law!"
So that's homophobia, sexism and racism all in the course of one lesson.
What a great mentor Boris has found for London's youth!
In other news, former Standard editor Veronica Wadley has been rewarded for her services to Boris's election campaign with a cushy new arts job.
All we need now is for Ian Clement to run Boris's expenses regime and we'll have the full set.
So much for the End of Cronyism at City Hall