Tag Archives: london assembly

Hina Bokhari is the new Lib Dem Leader on the London Assembly

Our team has announced that Hina Bokhari AM is the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the London Assembly. She takes over from Caroline Pidgeon who was Leader for the previous 14 years.

Hina is the first ethnic minority woman to lead any group on the Assembly. She was first elected to the Assembly in the last round of London elections in 2021 (postponed from 2020). She has been a councillor on Merton Council since 2018. Hina taught for 20 years and founded a couple of charities to support underprivileged young people.

We have a quote from her:

It is a privilege to lead the Liberal Democrat Group on the London Assembly and to be the first ethnic minority woman to lead a group on the Assembly.

I want to pay tribute to my predecessor Caroline Pidgeon who led the Lib Dem Group tirelessly for the last 14 years and who was widely regarded as one of, if not the best scrutineers the Assembly has seen since its establishment.

I passionately believe that at its heart, London is a liberal city with liberal values and one that thrives on its great diversity.

It is with these values I intend to hold the Mayor of London to account on the promises he made during the election to ensure that London continues to thrive as a welcoming global city that is safe and accessible and that the challenges currently facing many Londoners are addressed.

To all the women of all backgrounds across London, I hope I can offer some hope that barriers are being broken and politics is becoming more representative of the society we live in.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 2 Comments

Caroline Pidgeon steps down


Liberal Democrats Party Autumn Conference at Bournemouth International Centre – Caroline Pidgeon

Caroline Pidgeon has led the Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly for 14 years, and has been a member for 16. Today was her last day in the chamber, because the London elections kick into action next week and she is not standing again.

Caroline has been Co-Chair of the Transport Committee for 16 years, and has asked an amazing 8,235 Mayoral Questions (the most of any Assembly Member ever since its establishment in 2000).

This morning Sadiq Khan paid a …

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London Lib Dems prepare for the London elections next year

Every four years Londoners elect the Greater London Authority in the form of the Mayor of London and the 25 members of the London Assembly. As it happens the elections due in 2020 were postponed a year, so when the elections take place in May 2024 the current incumbents will have been in place for just three years.

The main focus is on the election of the Mayor of London, which for the first time will be chosen using First Past the Post. In the past there has been a supplementary vote, so voters could express a second preference. That changed with the Elections Act 2022, most remembered for the introduction of voter ID. But there were some other nuggets buried in the Act, including this regressive move away from the supplementary vote for elections for Mayors and Police Commissioners – itself a rudimentary type of PR – to First Past the Post.

The London Assembly holds the Mayor to account, and its 25 members are selected using the Additional Member system.  London is divided into 14 largish constituencies, each of which elects one member to the London Assembly, using First Past the Post.

The 14 constituency members are then topped up with 11 members from the party lists. Voters select one party list – they have no choice about the candidates on each list or the order in which they appear, which will have been determined by the parties themselves using their own internal selection methods.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 12 Comments

ULEZ victory for Lib Dem Assembly Members

It’s just seven months till London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone expands across all boroughs, making millions more of the capital’s residents liable for charges. For a small vehicle like a car, the daily charge is £12.50.

This week, London’s Liberal Democrat Assembly members passed an amendment to the scheme which aims to help residents with the impact, including providing more buses:

Our amendment would:

  •  double the scrappage scheme with an additional £100 million and to allow Blue Badge holders to apply
  •  invest £25 million in bus services in Outer London, including demand-responsive buses such as Go Sutton Bus

You can see Caroline Pidgeon’s speech proposing it here:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 17 Comments

Caroline Pidgeon to step down as London Assembly Member in 2024

Lib Dem London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon announced today at the London Regional Conference that she will not stand for re-election in 2024. Later she tweeted:

Caroline will be greatly missed by colleagues from all parties, including London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, whom she stood against when he was first elected in 2016:

Similar praise came from Conservative and Green Assembly members;

And Liberal Democrats were keen to thank her for all she has done over the years:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

Cost of living emergency facing London and the UK

This week the London Assembly passed a motion I proposed declaring a cost of living emergency in London. We called for some specific actions that should be taken by both the Mayor and most importantly central Government.

It was building upon the excellent initiative by the Eastbourne councillor and Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate Josh Babarinde who last month declared Eastbourne as the first town in the UK in a cost of living emergency.

More widely it is also builds upon what we have been doing at a national level as well. Ed Davey was the first political leader to call for a windfall tax on energy firms.

Even before the cost of living crisis London was facing the highest level of poverty of any city or region in the UK. A third of London children are living in relative poverty, so the rise in food prices not to mention energy bills will make things even more challenging.

During the Covid pandemic we witnessed the problems many families face with children being at home throughout the day. The families that rely on free school meals will face the impact again during the Summer school holidays starting in just a few weeks time. Parents are already deciding not to eat so their children do not go hungry. I can’t believe that this is happening in London or anywhere in this country. But it is.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Hina Bokhari writes: My first 100 days as a London Assembly member

100 days ago I had the honour of being elected as a Liberal Democrat London-Wide Assembly Member. We doubled our representation at City Hall and became a group again, with Caroline Pidgeon as the leader. 

I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of hundreds of members and activists, the fantastic team of GLA candidates, team members led by Anood Al-Samerai and the inspiring Mayoral candidates Luisa Porritt. Thank you to all who achieved this result. 

Now that there’s two of us in the London Assembly we can double our efforts, double our reach and even double our votes. 

That’s why it’s been important for me to get noticed and that’s not by just wearing lots of yellow and orange!

I didn’t plan to go semi-viral thanks to a photo of me sitting next to the former Tory Mayoral Candidate Shaun Bailey at our first public meeting. We were discussing how cold it was in the chamber but the Labour group spread rumours of us hatching a coalition plot – there was none. Labour had a strop over chairs of committees, they then refused to chair any. In any case, as a result, Caroline is chairing Transport and Oversight and is a member of the Police Committee, I am Deputy Chair of Economy and a member of the Environment and Fire Committees. My job is to scrutinise the Mayor and to raise our London Liberal Democrats’ campaigns. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

On Hina and ice-cream

Last Thursday, LibDem London Assembly member Hina Bokhari invited me to spend the day with her. My goals were to get to know Hina better, learn what the London Assembly does, and create a video for my YouTube channel we could share with the world.

At one point Hina says “there’s nothing particularly remarkable about me.” I think this video shows pretty clearly that this isn’t true – she is actually an extremely remarkable person. As LibDems, we should all be very proud she represents our party in the London Assembly.

Posted in London and YouTube | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

Committee capers in London’s City Hall weaken Labour influence

The AGM of the London Assembly took place on Friday. Conservative Andrew Boff was elected as assembly chairman, with fellow Conservative Keith Price as his deputy. Previously, Labour’s Navin Shah and Tory Tony Arbour held the posts.

If Sadiq Khan was not happy about the Tories taking over the assembly leadership, he will surely be even less happy that the Labour group on the assembly no longer chair any of the influential scrutiny committees. Media reports suggest that Labour AMs went into a strop during arguments over chairing the transport committee and walked out.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 9 Comments

Result – Lib Dem London Assembly list selection

With a hat-tip to Mark Pack, here is the result of the internal Liberal Democrat party election to select the order of candidates for our London Assembly list:

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 16 Comments

Now is the time…. to come to the aid of the party

 

Most of us are still coming to terms with the general election, but democracy waits for no disappointed politician. Straight away in London we must get candidates in place for the May 2016 elections to the Greater London Authority.

Adverts have just been published for selection to London Mayor and London Assembly list (11 members) and constituencies (14 members). The timetable is tight to get a mayoral candidate and list members in the field by early September, as the other parties are doing, with the constituencies running in parallel.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

London elections results open thread

The count for the Mayor of London and the members of the London Assembly is now underway in Olympia, ExCel and Alexandra Palace.

Once again, the electorate have had to cope with not one but three different voting systems.

Mayor of London

There are seven candidates for the Mayor of London, with Brian Paddick standing for the Liberal Democrats.

Voters had the opportunity to mark a first and a second preference candidate on the ballot paper. If one candidate achieves more than 50% of the first preference votes then that person is elected. If, as is more likely, no candidate passes the 50% ...

Posted in London and News | Also tagged , and | 21 Comments

Good morning, voters

If you have just joined us after a heavy night at the count, or watching the results on TV, then welcome. LDV readers have been reporting and commenting on the results all through the night, so please join in the discussion on the local elections open thread.

Later this morning we will be starting a London elections open thread to reflect on the results at City Hall.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

The local elections results open thread

The polls have closed, so where are we?

England

Elections have been held for 128 councils. In most cases one third of the seats were being contested. Altogether 6706 seats were up for election, of which 1170 were held by Liberal Democrats.

Ten English cities have been holding referendums on whether to have a directly elected mayor. They are Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Coventry, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wakefield.

Doncaster was voting on whether to abolish its directly elected mayor.

Three cities – London, Salford and Liverpool – have been electing a mayor.

  • London: 7 candidates, with Brian Paddick waving the Lib Dem flag.
  • Salford: 10 candidates, including

Posted in Local government, London, Scotland and Wales | Also tagged , , and | 35 Comments

Opinion: We need Homes for London

London faces a severe housing crisis. This problem will only get worse as our population continues to grow. One million more people are expected to be living in London by 2030.

Everywhere I go, people tell me they are concerned about housing – whether it is the long housing waiting lists, unaffordably high private rents or rogue landlords who rip you off. We have young people unable to make their first steps on the property ladder; or under threat from unscrupulous landlords and too many families living in overcrowded housing. For the average Londoner it will take 13 years …

Posted in London | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

Opinion: Are the Government in danger of recreating the GLC by the back-door?

When is localism not localism? When it comes to London apparently!

As the Localism Bill makes its way through its committee stages in the House of Commons the clauses that have an impact on London were rushed and hardly discussed on Tuesday afternoon.

This is unfortunate because this is the one part of the bill where the idea of localism is stopped dead in its tracks. In contrast to the localist approach applied across England in the rest of the bill, when it comes to London it seems that devolution stops at a regional level.

There are three specific proposals in the …

Posted in London and Op-eds | Also tagged | Leave a comment

Lib Dem candidates for the London Assembly

Below you will find a list of the Lib Dem candidates currently standing for the London Assembly along with their online media.

Candidate

Webpage

Twitter

Facebook

Email

YouTube

Flikr

Jeremy Ambache Jeremy Website @Jeremy4London Facebook Jeremy Flickr
Steve Bradley Steve Website Steve
Emily Davey Emily Website @emilygasson Emily
Merlene Emerson Merlene Website @merleneemerson Facebook Merlene YouTube
Bridget Fox Bridget Website @BridgetFox Facebook Bridget YouTube
Stephen Knight Stephen Website Stephen
Ajmal Masroor Ajmal Website @AjmalMasroor Facebook Ajmal
Caroline

Posted in Local government | 1 Comment

London Liberal Democrats announce GLA shortlist for 2012

London Region Liberal Democrats have announced the candidates for the London Assembly top-up list for the 2012 election. The shortlist is now final and London members will now be issued with a ballot to place the candidates in order of preference.

The candidates, in alphabetical order, are:

Jeremy Ambache (M)
Steve Bradley (M)
Emily Davey (F)
Merlene Emerson (F)*
Bridget Fox (F)
Stephen Knight (M)
Ajmal Masroor (M)*
Caroline Pidgeon (F)
Marisha Ray (F)*
Nick Russell (M)
Shas Sheehan (F)*

Those marked with an asterisk are Black and Minority Ethnic for the purpose of the ethnic preference rule.

There will not be a ballot for the Mayoral candidate for the time being. …

Posted in London and Selection news | 24 Comments

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

Opinion: If we fail to address the image of an all-white party our reputation alone will put off future black and Asian people from joining

The Liberal Democrats are showing signs of getting serious about tackling the chronic under-representation of black and Asian talent in elected positions – and about time too.

In a groundbreaking move that was sadly unreported, the London Region recently agreed to introduce positive action in a bid to get at least one BAME hopeful onto the London Assembly, a body that represents a city where over a third of the population is from an ethnic minority.

The decision to reserve places – quotas by another name – on the ‘top-up list’ means the Lib Dems have gone further than any other political …

Posted in London and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 131 Comments

Dee Doocey elected chair of London Assembly

From a news release by the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group:

The London Assembly has today elected Dee Doocey AM as its new Chair for 2010/11. Jennette Arnold AM has been re-elected as Deputy Chair. At their Annual Meeting Assembly Members also re-established a number of committees to examine the Mayor of London’s policies and investigate issues of importance to London.

Chair of the London Assembly Dee Doocey AM said:

“I am honoured that my colleagues have chosen me to lead the Assembly for the year ahead. I will do my utmost to justify their confidence in handing me this additional opportunity to serve Londoners. I am also proud to be the first Irish person to Chair the London Assembly.

At this changing time in our national political landscape it is more important than ever that London has a strong voice and powerful advocates to make the case for funding vital projects like Crossrail. The London Assembly is determined to ensure that the sound arguments for investing in the capital’s future, and the benefits that will also bring to the rest of the country, do not go unheard.

In the months ahead the Assembly will continue to monitor the refinement of the Mayor’s strategies and measure what impact they do or do not have on the quality of life in London. We will also continue to challenge the London 2012 team to deliver not just an excellent Games but also the long term benefits the capital was promised in the bid.”

You can also listen to Dee’s acceptance speech via Audioboo, courtesy of Mayorwatch:

Listen!

Posted in London and News | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Caroline Pidgeon is new Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group

From a party news release:

Caroline Pidgeon, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Transport spokesperson, has become the new leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group.

She takes over from Mike Tuffrey, who has led the group since 2006.

Commenting on future plans for the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group Caroline Pidgeon said:

“The concerns of Londoners are the concerns of Liberal Democrats at City Hall.

“We recognise the vital importance of tackling crime and the fear of crime that affects every area in London. We will continue to be at the forefront of the campaign to protect police numbers and ensure that there …

Posted in London | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

The grit in the Oyster

London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon sets out how the Mayor of London’s approach to problems with the London Oyster travelcard is a demonstration of Boris Johnsons wider approach to addressing issues that face Londoners:

This week at City Hall I was accused by Boris Johnson of being a “negative Liberal Democrat” when I dared to question him over some of the problems that have happened as a result of the extension of Oyster Pay as You Go to national rail services across London.

Well I stand by my questioning of the Mayor as there is no …

Posted in London and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

LibLink: Mike Tuffrey – No accounting for Boris Johnson

Over at The Guardian’s Comment Is Free blog, Lib Dem leader in the Greater London Assembly Mike Tuffrey argues that, though the mayor of London made many promises about changing the way the city is governed, nothing has materialised. Here’s an excerpt:

Alas, Johnson’s bold claims to change how London is governed have proved to be largely fanciful. The specific promise to introduce a cabinet system at city hall – an idea introduced by Livingstone, but afterwards abandoned by him – was quickly dropped, despite my constant probing. …

The mayor has also stopped holding regular press conferences at city hall,

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Electoral Commission heavily criticise report into plans for 2012 London elections

The Electoral Commission has published a report laying out a series of detailed and powerful criticisms of the cost-benefit analysis carried out for the Greater London Returning Officer into the use of e-counting for the 2012 London Mayor and Assembly elections.

However, the Greater London Returning Officer (GLRO) appears determined to go ahead with electronic counting, having told a meeting he had made this decision before even hearing the Electoral Commission’s views and despite even the flawed cost-benefit analysis showing that e-counting is more expensive than manual counting.

Posted in Election law and London | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Richard Tracey: Tory triumph or tall tale?

A Tory London Assembly Member wants his party to take the credit for a brief drop in London’s unemployment figures, while the annual results show a different picture.

Richard Tracey, Conservative London Assembly Member for Merton and Wandsworth (and a former Conservative Minister and MP for Surbiton) proudly wrote to the South London Press in March 2009:

“London has bucked the tragedy of rising unemployment – it fell between November and January, whereas the UK as a whole saw a rise.

It is no coincidence that unemployment in London has actually fallen in the last three months, given taxpayer-focused Conservative administrations run so much of it.

Richard Tracey

London Assembly member for Merton and Wandsworth”

In a rather desperate attempt to make a political point he grabbed at the very limited unemployment figures between November 2008 and January 2009 for evidence. The letter was even titled ‘Tory Triumph.’

Well, five months later, the Tories must be less triumphant.

Posted in London and News | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Looking beyond the Lib Dem ghetto

The Lib Dems have always selected their candidates by “one member one vote” (OMOV). It has always seemed the most logical and transparently fair system, and it is certainly better than having candidates hand-picked by an inner cabal. It still does a fairly good job at selecting candidates for the House of Commons, although as membership levels drop that is becoming less true. But it has been quite inadequate for selecting candidates for larger constituencies, particularly for the European Parliament and London Assembly.

Here’s the fundamental problem: a significant proportion of our members are concentrated in our held and target constituencies. Target seats become target seats because they have a larger pool of activists from which to draw. In turn, in order to become winning seats they have to recruit more activists. The more tightly we focus on target seats, as the Lib Dems certainly have for the past two decades, the more the gap between target seat and what we sometimes euphemistically call “development seats” widens.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 24 Comments

London Underground: should lines be completely shut to speed up engineering work?

The London Underground is used by as many people each week as the total number of people who use the nation’s railway network. Caroline Pidgeon sets out why modernising the underground is so important and why new ways of undertaking the upgrades might now be necessary.

At London’s City Hall I’m leading an Assembly investigation into overcrowding on the Tube and what Mayor Boris Johnson can do about it. For many years now Tube passengers have been used to cramming themselves into crowded trains wedged against someone’s armpits. More recently stations like Victoria, King’s Cross, London Bridge and Holborn have had …

Posted in London and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 8 Comments

Brian Coleman was wined and dined before awarding contract

Such hospitality – it’s astounding!

Not only did Asset Co treat Brian Coleman (London Assembly Member and Chair of the London Fire Authority) to three dinners and a Harvey Nicks hamper before the LFA awarded it a £12 million contract – but also Mayor Boris Johnson continues to give him house room at City Hall.

After his huge taxi bills and refusal to publish his expenses at the same time as the other Assembly Members, Coleman has outstayed London’s welcome – but when will Boris do something about it?

Adam Bienkov at Tory Troll has the story:

The London Fire Authority have awarded

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

Brian Coleman in “mad, bad and sad” expenses smokescreen

London Assembly Member Brian Coleman is refusing to publish details of his expenses, despite the Mayor, his advisors and the other 24 members of the Assembly agreeing to do so voluntarily.

Apparently a graduate of the Anthony Steen Charm School for Politicians, Coleman has blamed bloggers for being interested in how taxpayers’ money is spent:

“I won’t do it voluntarily. It’s none of the public’s business. They have coped well without knowing this kind of detail for more than 75 years. They are not entitled to drool over our personal lives. I’m not going to help the mad, bad and the

Posted in London and News | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • Andy Chandler
    @Adam Ah, that's my bad on that. I misread it. Apologise about that. Part blame dyslexic tendencies (always came out as that despite three attempts to get it p...
  • David Symonds
    I find the adversarial politics in Britain to be highly depressing and corrosive. They are enforced and reinforced by the rotted First Past the Post voting syst...
  • Martin Gray
    @Alex Macfie..Whatever the reason, this individual felt the need to assassinate a democratically elected head of government. As Mary has pointed out - those t...
  • Adam
    @ Andy Not "invented" but "inverted"! https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/inverted_snobbery...
  • tom arms
    @ Ian Sanderson: Normally I would agree with your assessment, but in the case of Robert Fico, in the first elections after 1991 he was elected to parliament as ...