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Mayor Johnson

Vindictive Shawcross takes Cooke’s job

Brian Cooke, Chairman of London TravelWatch, has been sacked by the London Assembly Transport Committee this afternoon at an extraordinary meeting, see here.

In spite of apologising for his “error of judgement” in releasing a statement which was largely in favour of then Mayoral candidate Boris Johnson, but which specifically criticised two of Johnson’s policies, he was summarily dismissed by a vote which saw Labour and LibDem members in vindictive mood. Cooke lost his job in a vote of 4:3. Chief inquisitor Shawcross voted with fellow Labour members Qureshi and new girl McCartney. They were joined by LibDem new girl Pidgeon. The three Conservative members present voted against. The meeting was called at short notice so one of the Conservative members of the committee, Victoria Borwick, was unable to attend.

I often don’t agree with Green member Jenny Jones, but she was fair minded enough to abstain from the vote. She called Cooke’s behaviour an “aberration” and said:

I think on balance if we look at Brian’s previous excellent record we have to perhaps see this as an aberration and I think that while some sort of sanction is desirable, a sacking is not.

His crime was to produce the statement attached to the back of this paper over the weekend before the election. It led to quite widespread coverage, see Evening Standard here.

If you want to see the nakedly political and vindictive Shawcross in action watch the webcast here.

It seems that on the first working day after a few thousand people ran riot on the transport system on Saturday night the committee wants to busy itself with a reprisal on Brian Cooke for having had the temerity to point out the lack of clothes on emperor Livingstone’s transport policies.