Thursday, 13 October 2011

How Boris Johnson covered up City Hall meetings with campaign chief

Lynton Crosby ID photo
Boris Johnson has been accused of a cover up after it emerged that he obtained an access all areas City Hall pass for his re-election campaign manager.

Freedom of Information requests by this blog reveal that the Mayor personally requested a security pass for Lynton Crosby in February that gave him unfettered access to the building.

Under GLA rules, staff passes should only be given to City Hall employees and tenants.

Local government rules also forbid the use of public resources for party political activity.

Asked about the existence of the pass earlier this year a spokesperson for the Mayor claimed that:

"An admin officer mistakenly approved a security pass, which was swiftly withdrawn when senior officials were alerted."

However my Freedom of Information requests reveal that the pass was requested by none other than Boris himself for a six month period, renewable.

And rather than being mistakingly authorised by an "admin officer," the pass was personally authorised by his then chief of staff, the late Sir Simon Milton.

And rather than being "swiftly withdrawn" Mr. Crosby retained the pass for almost five months.

London Assembly Labour group leader, Len Duvall, said today: 

"We were given completely misleading information about how and why this pass was issued. It says a lot about the mayor and his senior staff that they don't think they need to play by the same rules as everyone else and are happy to give out totally false information to cover things up when they've been found out. It's astounding they thought it was ok to give this Tory campaign organiser full access to the seat of London government."

A spokesperson for the Mayor denied a cover up, saying that:

"We stand by the original statement because the security pass was requested by an admin officer. We sought very hard to find out who had given authorisation for the pass and checked with every director and mayoral advisor but none were aware it, Following a more detailed trawl, prompted by your FOI, it was discovered that the late Sir Simon Milton has authorised the pass. The current Chief of Staff withdrew the pass when he was informed of its existence."

Boris has repeatedly refused to reveal exactly how many meetings he has had with Crosby in City Hall during what should be strictly work hours.

In response to my Freedom of Information request, the Mayor's office claimed that the log detailing exactly when and how often Crosby used his pass was deleted "automatically" after he returned it.


Anonymous said...

perhaps you should check Tetra Strategy the Liam Fox guys and City Hall

Anonymous said...

The arrogance of Boris's City Hall administration is there for everybody to see.