London Development Agency grants scandal

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The allegations made by journalist Andrew Gilligan of the Evening Standard on December 5th 2007 seem to have hit a nerve with Ken Livingstone and his army of taxpayer funded political spin doctors:

Ken's aide and lost millions

Andrew Gilligan
05.12.07

A senior adviser to the Mayor, Ken Livingstone, is under GLA investigation after at least £2.5 million in City Hall money was channelled to organisations controlled by himself, his friends and his business associates.

Lee Jasper, the Mayor's director of equalities and policing, is at the centre of a network of companies which have received large sums of public money from Mr Livingstone while appearing to do little or no work in return.

[...]


Andrew Gilligan's Comment is Free piece in The Guardian, also rings true:

No answers from Ken

Despite his furious attacks on the journalists investigating him, London's mayor has yet to answer key questions about the Lee Jasper affair

Andrew Gilligan
December 14, 2007 6:30 PM

[...]

If you bother to read the numerous weasel worded Official Press releases from the Mayor of London's propaganda machine, helpfully linked to in the comments by a publicly paid spin doctor pretending to be an ordinary member of the public, you would be forgiven in assuming that some Orwellian Ministry of Truth has infected the supposedly politically neutral taxpayer funded Mayor of London public relations department.

Ken Livingstone seems to have surrounded himself with a soviet style nomenklatura of patronage, at taxpayers' expense.

Is it any wonder that when clear, detailed answers to the allegations made by the Evening Standard are not immediately forthcoming, there must be the suspicion that there is some corruption and / or incompetence, which Ken and his cronies are trying to cover up ? Even Labour supporters of Livingstone are calling for such answers, without success.

For someone as litigious and as eager to hand over our taxpayers' money to expensive lawyers as Ken Livingstone, it is very noticeable that he is not daring to attempt to sue the Evening Standard in court over these allegations.

There must be far more transparency and independent public scrutiny of the projects funded by the London Development Agency. If this cannot be achieved, then the LDA should be disbanded and the officials and politicians responsible should be sacked and prosecuted if necessary.

Surely Londoners cannot be so stupid as to re-elect this increasingly out of touch, egotistic and authoritarian Labour politician and incompetent administrator, for another term as Mayor of London ?

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