Boris Johnson has started making appointments to help him during his second term. Most notable is that Kit Malthouse, recently Boris’s Deputy Mayor for Policing, has been shunted off to Deputy Mayor for Business and Enterprise. The Mayor says that creating jobs and growth will be at the heart of his administration, but we imagine that will be scant consolation for Kit who loses oversight of the Metropolitan Police.
His replacement isn’t mentioned in Boris’s press release but the Evening Standard is very confident that it will be Stephen Greenhalgh. The delay in officially unveiling him might be because Greenhalgh is, until the end of May, leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council. Labour Assembly Member Val Shawcross has pointed out to the BBC that, in law, one person can’t hold two local authority posts at the same time. If and when he does come in, he’ll have the unenviable task of overseeing the police during the Olympics and a number of racism scandals. We’d also like to ask him to be transparent and finally publish the members of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (which replaced the Metropolitan Police Authority); also, we discovered today that the general enquiry phone number for the MOPC goes through the Met’s Central Communications Command – which handles emergency calls and despatch – and we suspect those officers have better things to do than handle questions from people like us…
Sir Edward Lister remains as Deputy Mayor for Planning, while Munira Mirza gets boosted from adviser on culture and youth to Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture. Richard Blakeway, previously advisor for housing, also gets a promotion to Deputy Mayor for Housing and will chair Homes for London. Shelter has been calling for such an agency, but while they wanted a body to regulate landlords and set up a centralised lettings service, the new Homes for London is just the new name for the London Housing Board – which was primarily responsible for house building. Time will tell whether it gets new powers to go with the new name.
We still don’t know who Boris’s statutory Deputy Mayor will be (the one who gets to be Mayor should Boris get mown down by a New Bus for London) after Richard Barnes lost his seat, but the filling of this vacancy, and when Greenhalgh finally gets confirmed, will take Boris’s Deputy Mayors to six. Will there be any work left for the Mayor to do?