Tag Archives: james cleverly

Cleverly disrepects Hughes – where will it end?

If someone publically told you to shut up and called you a “dick” and a “fool”, would you feel that person was treating you with respect?

Most people would say not, and when it comes to standards boards, the rulings tend to agree. Perfectly OK to say someone’s idea is foolish, but not to call them a fool.

So how to explain a blog post by James Cleverly, who sits on the London Assembly as a Conservative?

Titled “Oh do shut up Simon“, Mr Cleverly lays into Simon Hughes who, it’s safe to say, he doesn’t quite see eye to eye …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 23 Comments

Ian Clement charged with fraud

Ian Clement, one of Boris Johnson’s former Deputy Mayors, has been charged with five counts of fraud “in connection with alleged misuse of expenses.”

Clement was forced to resign in June over allegations that he used his City Hall corporate credit card to pay for private meals and groceries.

Adam Bienkov at Tory Troll has the full story, including the statement issued by the Metropolitan Police, and a statement from Clement’s lawyer in the Bexley Times who accuses the Crown Prosecution Service of “political expediency” for deciding to prosecute. 

Posted in London and News | Also tagged , , , and | 1 Comment

PR in an online world: Boris Johnson’s team at work

There was an interesting little example last week of how the Conservatives are trying to use blogs to set the tone of news reporting, courtesy of Boris Johnson and a report into his behaviour.

The report, into Boris Johnson’s behaviour over the Damian Green affair, makes major criticisms of his behaviour but falls short of saying that he broke any rules. So the battle for good publicity came down to whether the report would be seen as ‘Boris cleared because he didn’t breach the rules’ or ‘Boris criticised for bad judgement and poor choices’. The Conservatives tried to make use of bloggers to pitch for the first, but in the end failed because the mainstream media coverage was far more balanced.

As Tory Troll points out, Boris Johnson got his retaliation in first with a statement welcoming the outcome of the inquiry, emphasising the part about him being cleared of any breach of the rules and glossing over the criticisms of his behaviour in the report, such as the conclusions that his acts:

  • Were “extraordinary and unwise” (paragraph 8.20)
  • Might “inhibit full and free discussion” of high profile cases “between the chief officer of police and a police authority chairman” (6.33)
  • “Placed him at risk of being called as a witness by either the CPS or defence in any criminal prosecution of Mr Green, to the potential detriment of his office as Chairman of the MPA” (8.21)
  • Risked being “perceived as furthering private interests” (8.21)

The Boris Johnson version of events was echoed across a range of friendly-blogs, all of whom ran similar stories: Iain Dale (“Boris is in the clear“), ConservativeHome (“Boris Johnson cleared of wrongdoing over Greengate“) and Conservative GLA member James Cleverly (“Boris in the clear“).

Iain’s piece quotes paragraph 11.1 of the report, but has no reference to the critical parts (his reasoning being, “I quoted that because it was the main conclusion of the report. Surely in these matters, that’s what counts. I don’t deny there were critical comments, and Boris addressed those in his own response”), Jonathan Isaby on ConservativeHome has a smiling picture of Boris Johnson giving a thumbs up, but no mention of the other aspects of the report, and James Cleverly’s piece is similarly glowing.

However, the efforts of Boris Johnson’s team seem to have been largely in vain, because the mainstream media coverage was far better, and in another warning to Boris Johnson about how he may find the Evening Standard a far more hostile paper now that its owner and editor have changed, the Evening Standard headlined its report:

Boris rebuked for his ‘unwise’ contact with Green during inquiry

Similarly, the BBC reported:

Boris Johnson’s role in the Damian Green affair was “extraordinary and unwise” but did not amount to an abuse of office, a new report has found.

Background

This extract summarises the nuances of the report’s findings:

Posted in London and Online politics | Also tagged , , , , , and | 2 Comments

Why David Cameron is right, Boris Johnson muddled and James Cleverly just plain wrong

Avid bloggers and observers of London politics might have noticed that James Cleverly, the Conservative Assembly Member for Bexley and Bromley and Boris Johnson’s Ambassador for Youth, is intent on defending a muddled decision by Boris Johnson over vehicle emissions and in the process sought to criticise me and the Liberal Democrats.

Of course James is entitled to his own views but he’s wrong when he says there’s no evidence the Low Emission Zone is working. No lesser source than the Mayor has said (press release 2nd February): “…the Low Emission Zone has been successful in tackling the worst …

Posted in London | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Conservatives split over London Low Emission Zone

Conservative London Assembly Member James Cleverly has (not so cleverly) shown a lack of homework in his blog post discussing Boris Johnson’s intention to suspend the third phase of the Low Emission Zone:

Boris has taken the right decision to hold off with LEZ phase three. Its effectiveness is not known…

He said that there is “no evidence” that the Low Emission Zone improves air quality.

That’s not what Boris said in a press statement on February 2nd:

Although the Low Emission Zone has been successful in tackling the worst polluters, and will continue to play an important role, it is not

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