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The Mayor of London's Office and Press Office appear to have been infiltrated by Personality Cultists, who are bringing the system into disrepute, with their abuse of public resources to conduct personal attacks and to make threats against their political opponents.

The Evening Standard report last Friday, contains an extraordinary threat:

Whistle-blower to sue Mayor over 'bullying' claims
Andrew Gilligan, Evening Standard
25.01.08

The whistleblower who exposed a key part of the City Hall scandal is to sue Ken Livingstone for libel, the Evening Standard can reveal.

The move comes after the Mayor claimed on BBC radio that Brenda Stern was sacked for bullying her staff.

Ms Stern, a former London Development Agency manager, was forced from her £70,000-a-year job after she complained about serious irregularities in a project run by a friend of the Mayor's equality adviser Lee Jasper.

A complaint of bullying was made against her but in a letter seen by the Standard, LDA chief executive Manny Lewis says the allegation was investigated and was "not founded"

[...]

Hopefully Brenda Stern will be awarded a large amount of money and, a public apology from Ken Livingstone personally.

However, more importantly, the article goes on to say:

The Mayor's office hit back, threatening that if Ms Stern sued, the GLA would investigate "other matters" apart from her stint at the LDA, including her past life and previous employment.

Firstly , if there was anything dubious in her previous employment (she is a lawyer who was seconded to the the London Development Agency), it shows GLA incompetence for not checking before employing her in the first place, which seems highly unlikely.

Therefore any such "investigation" must be an attempt to dig up information for a political smear campaign against a whistleblower, thereby abusing the staff and resources paid for by the London taxpayer.

These are the tactics of extremist cults, like the Scientologists or the Moonies etc. and is not how the public employees at City Hall should act, or appear to be acting.

This threat violates even the GLA's own Code of Ethics for Staff (.pdf)

2.3. Proper advice and support

(b) To uphold the political impartiality of the Authority's staff, not to use public
resources for political purposes
and not to act in any way which would conflict
with this Code;

The individual(s) who uttered this threat should be named and shamed, and investigated by the Standards Board for England, for bringing the Office of the Mayor of London into disrepute.

If the GLA is somehow manipulated by Livingstone and his cronies into trying to fund, or allow GLA human or technical resources to be abused in such an ""investigation", this would be a violation by a public authority of the European Convention on Human Rights Article 8, the right to privacy, and therefore against the UK Human Rights Act, and therefore against the GLA's own internal Codes of Conduct and Ethics.

If the individual members of Livingstone's inner circle carry out their threat, they should be investigated by the Police and charged with a criminal offence under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and / or with Malfeasance in Office.

Even if you are a Labour voter, it must be clear that the current Mayor of London and his clique of cronies must not be allowed back into power this coming May.

Channel 4 tv - is to broadcast a Dispatches documentary, tomorrow at 8pm Monday 21st Jan 2009

These seems set to examine some of Ken Livingstone's record of peculiar policies, broken promises and cronyism. It is also set to look at the Greater London Assembly, which should act as a check and balance on whoever occupies the office of Mayor of London, but which has failed to do so effectively.

Interestingly, the investigative reporter this time, is not from a "right wing" publication like the Evening Standard , but from a "left wing" one, the New Statesman magazine.

See the New Statesman political editor Martin Bright's blog article My questions for Ken


But in the course of my research I came across a blizzard of stories that do not show the mayor in an entirely good light. These include some already in the public domain, such as the cost of foreign trips and the "embassies" set up by the mayor abroad, details of the oil deal with Venezuela's leader, Hugo Chávez, and questions over spending by the London Development Agency. Other stories, including one concerning a campaign against Trevor Phillips, now chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, organised from within City Hall, raise concerns. There are also the curious actions of Livingstone's inner circle of advisers and their idiosyncratic politics. And, inevitably, we looked at the congestion charge.

Perhaps most importantly we examined the office of mayor itself: whether it is institutionally robust and whether any incumbent in the post would be held fully accountable.

Even before it has been transmitted, this tv programme has provoked some Sunday Newspaper articles, and taxpayer funded public relations spin from the Mayor's spin doctors, who appear to be working overtime, regarding the serious allegation that the political appointees and the other appartachiki who are paid to be politically neutral civil servants, were actively campaigning for Livingstone, including fund raising, using GLA / Mayoral offices and equipment , during working hours.

The Sunday Times:

The Observer:

If even left wing, Labour supporting, journalists are starting to question Livingstone's dubious record, will that translate into seeing him lose the May election ?

The latest round in Ken Livingstone's Mayor of London attempt at re-election campaign damage limitation spin, using the incumbent officer holder's
publicly funded media relations department, is to issue another Press Release regarding Livingstone's favourite apparatchik. the Director of Policing and Equalities. Lee Jasper,

Evening Standard allegations of GLA and LDA corruption false 11-1-2008 022

The report has been issued today of the review of allegations of LDA corruption and collusion in improperly awarding funds made by the journalist Andrew Gilligan in the Evening Standard in a series of articles in December 2007.

[...]

However, if anyone actually bothers to read past the headline bullet points in the actual LDA Audit Report Schedule details, then these Press Release claims simply look like the South Park tv cartoon Johnnie Cochran Chewbacca Defense i.e. diversionary sleight of hand, focusing on straw man arguments against deliberately twisted modifications of the original newspaper allegations.

Apologies for a lack of recent comments here on this blog, especially to our keen reader(s) at the Greater London Authority / Mayor of London's office, who, seem to be keeping tabs on this blog daily, according to our web server logfiles.

The Mayor of London's publicly funded public relations department seems to have backed off, for now, from issuing more carefully selected "factual" propaganda, which usually seems to counter straw man allegations which were not actually made , or which are peripheral to the revelations published in the Evening Standard by their investigative journalist Andrew Gilligan.

They have revealed further stories, which give the impression of sleaze, corruption and incompetence by the London Development Agency, Ken Livingstone and his inner clique of politically appointed apparatchiki. e.g

.

Police called in over City Hall scandal

Andrew Gilligan
21.12.07
Police have been called in over the City Hall grants scandal amid new allegations of fraud, violence and intimidation.

A leading London MP has written to Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, urging him to order an inquiry into how a scheme run by two associates of Lee Jasper - one of Ken Livingstone's most senior advisers - spent more than £172,000 in grants.

Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey said Mr Jasper and the Mayor's London Development Agency had "serious questions" to answer over the South London Green Badge Taxi School.

[...]

The Standard has uncovered a string of allegations that LDA cash was given to associates and friends of Mr Jasper, described by the Mayor as "one of the most valuable people" at City Hall, with little or nothing to show for the £2.5 million spent.

Mr Livingstone, Mr Jasper and Mr Grey have vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

The London Development Agency's press release simply oozes with Cover Your Backside weasel words.

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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