Boris Johnson in expenses hot water

Two pieces of troubling news regarding London Mayor Boris Johnson and his approach to expenses: he’s been running up big bills himself and he also personally signed off expenses on the controversial corporate credit card, the use of which resulted in (yet another) Deputy Mayor having to quit.

Paul Waugh has the details of Boris Johnson’s expensive taxis:

I know Boris loves London’s cabbies, but this is ridiculous. A new written answer to City Hall today shows that the Mayor seems to be following in the footsteps of Ken Livingstone when it comes to his love of the hackney carriage.

Boris’s total bill since taking over as Mayor is a massive £4,698 – even higher than the last time it emerged his bills were published (for just three months).

But what is extraordinary – and will horrify most Londoners who pay these bills – is that Boris has run up huge bills for keeping his cabs waiting.

You can read the full story, including a detailed list of the taxi journeys, here.

Meanwhile, Dave Hill over at The Guardian has the story on how Boris Johnson personally signed off expense claims on Ian Clement’s corporate credit card months after he’d said that the card should not be used:

New rules governing the approval of advisers’ expenses came into force on 11 March. They require the Mayor himself to sign off his team members’ expenses, and he did so for the first time in April. He did it again in May. The documents to which he added his signature were called GLA corporate credit card logs. In these were compiled the (arguably) legitimate expenses of Ian Clement, with any “personal use” ones already stripped out by the City Hall staff responsible. But if Boris thought Clement shouldn’t any longer have had a corporate card at all, why was he content to effectively endorse his continuing use of one? Had he forgotten all about it? Had he assumed Clement had handed it in? Had he just changed his mind? Or did he simply not look at what he was signing?

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5 Comments

  • Has Lord Rennard repaid the £41,000 for his second home claims yet?

  • Caron,

    This is the same Boris Johnson who spokesperson told the London Evening Standard:

    “The Mayor cycles every day – to and from work and to almost every one of his meetings.”

    http://tr.im/pGZ5

  • David from W5 25th Jun '09 - 9:55am

    So is David Cameron going to talk to him?

  • Matthew Huntbach 25th Jun '09 - 2:06pm

    Again, the problem here is this whole idea of executive mayors. It places all power in the hands of one person. This power has been abused by Boris Johnson in the raising to senior positions of people who clearly aren’t suitable. But it was just this sort of thing that was put forward to justify the idea of executive mayors – by-pass all that fuddy-duddy discussion and accountability stuff with all its boring committees, just let one man in to do what he likes, and if that’s appoint people to the most senior jobs with minimal checks on their background or capability, hey, well it’s all fun and dynamic, isn’t it?

    And yet executive mayors are still being put forward as part of the rag-bag of constitutional reforms which are somehow supposed to revive democracy. The combined establishment commentariat are almost united in supposing abolishing the voting rights of elected councillors and instead putting all power into the hands of one person is somehow “decentralising” and the ideal way to revive local government.

    Why? I keep asking this and have been doing so ever since I found myself Leader of the Opposition in the first council which proposed the idea. I have had no clear answer back. To me, the very arguments put forward for executive mayors are so ridiculous and contradictory that I cannot see how anyone can put them with a straight face, yet they do. Spreading power by abolishing the idea of a representative assembly which shares it and instead giving it all to one elected dictator? Where am I going wrong in that I can’t understand what so many others obviously have here?

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