Mayor Johnson

Duvall wants to waste public money going to law

Labour blogger Dave Hill is working himself up into a righteous frenzy over Mayor Johnson’s latest appointment. He has posted no fewer than six times this afternoon on the appointment.

Who cares what Ken Livingstone thinks about it?

More worryingly Labour group leader Len Duvall is talking about legal action. He says:

The chair of the London Assembly is already considering taking legal counsel as to the propriety of Mr Parker’s appointment and it is rumoured that a number of other people were approached for this position before him but turned it down.

Notably it won’t be the Labour group hiring the legal counsel. They want to use public money to make a party political point so it will be the Assembly chairman, Jennette Arnold, doing the dirty work.

Labour will find out tonight in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election what the country thinks about them. Taking the newly elected Conservative Mayor to law at public expense over someone who is offering to work unpaid will not endear London Labour to Londoners. Duvall should think again.

11 replies on “Duvall wants to waste public money going to law”

Phil, I’m not sure you’ve grasped the implications of this appointment. Tim Parker is to be the Chief Executive of the GLA group, replacing Anthony Mayer. This is supposed to be a local government officer, not a political appointment. Mayer was originally appointed before the first Mayor was elected and was neutral.


Dave Hill’s blog is becoming increasingly shrill as he gets himself in a tizz and poses absurd questions, which is a shame as it was quite readable for a time.


I do understand that and I am also aware that the Mayor wants to make a break with the last 8 years. Londoners expect big changes and there are big challenges to face. Steady as she goes with Meyer at the helm is not he right answer.


A “righteous frenzy”? Don’t be silly. Parker’s is a major appointment which – in view of his record for mass sackings and personal self-enrichment on the back of them – suggests to some people that the new caring, sharing Conservatism Boris is supposed to represent on behalf of his leader might turn out to be a bit of a sham and that he will, after all, pursue the Thatcher-style policies we were warned about. I’ll keep an open mind about Parker until I see how he behaves, but the omens are worrying. As for posting six times, so what? I swiftly obtained responses from people whose views about Parker are of relevance and interest to my readers and Londoners in general. It’s a big story so I gave it a lot of space – just like the Evening Standard. Oh yes – and if Boris has broken the law, that’s alright with you, is it Phil? One law for powerful Tories, another law for everyone else?


Also, I am not “a Labour blogger”. I seem to remember getting you a bit of paid work at The Guardian, Phil. The least you could do in return is get your facts right when you launch attacks on me.


Mayer had already announced he was going – whether forced out or through choice, I don’t know – but the point is that Mayer was Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service, appointed jointly by Mayor and Assembly. Boris’ bright idea is to divorce the two, have a Head of Paid Service who is kept well down the pecking order, and bring in his political mates to run the whole staff.

Why is this a problem? Well, when Ken got into trouble over the LDA he could ask Anthony Mayer as a neutral officer to investigate, and that had credibility. If the same thing happens now, the Head of Paid Service would not have the clout, and Tim Parker will be too closely politically tied to the Mayor to be truly neutral.



Sorry to misrepresent you – I guess I should have said “unaligned, Labour supporting, Labour voting blogger Dave Hill”.

I am quite happy to take that back if you didn’t vote Labour three times on the 1st May. Over to you.



I thought that the internal look at the LDA was undertaken by Andrew Travers’, the LDA’s Group Director Resources and Risk. The base report was half reasonable but was spun outrageously by GLA officers. The result was that the Mayor and the GLA lost credibility. See here.

No organisation can credibly investigate itself so I suggest that your argument does not hold water.



Why should someone taking an unpaid appointment free them up from full scrutiny. If Tim Parker is a political appointment and should not be, then this needs to be fully investigated. It is not acceptable for anyone to break the law, party allegiance shopuld have nothing to do wioth it., I think it is a shame that you do not agree.


J. Wild


The Labour group have proved to be very bad losers, conspiring with the Liberals to grab all the major Assembly posts and then whingeing about many of the appointments made by Boris.

I would have thought that following recent events a period of silence and contemplation of their own failings would be a more mature course of action.



In other words, what you are saying is that any critical scrutiny of the appointments made by the new mayor is wrong because the new mayor should be able to do as he likes, even if that means breaking the law and a variety of promises made during the election campaign. Is it really going to be like this for the next four years?

Surely if the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens – who, combined, polled more votes than the Tories at the election – want to make common cause then they should be allowed to do so. They are, after all, representing the majority of Londoners.


J. Wild


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