Meeting with Secretary of State (Supplementary) [22]

Session date: 
June 20, 2001
Question By: 
Bob Neill
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

I am not entirely convinced by the proposition that Gordon Brown is bossed about by his civil servants, but whoever is in the Treasury, you will recall that this point was raised with you at our meeting on 23 May, when Andrew Pelling, among others, asked whether the danger was not that this deal, which had been made before the general election, would collapse afterwards, because, after the election, we as an authority - the Mayor and TfL - no longer had any card to play. That is clearly coming to be the case, isn't it?

Answer

Answer for Meeting with Secretary of State (Supplementary) [22]

Answer for Meeting with Secretary of State (Supplementary) [22]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I think that is the most likely outcome. There are still perhaps 10 days more of negotiations with the two bidders, and Bob Kiley is thinking of proposing to the board of London Transport that the offer should be withdrawn from one of the two bidders, and talks started with one who was not given preferred bidder status. So it is not 100% certain that we will end up in court, but it is certainly going that way very rapidly.

I would also say that, when the Prime Minister made the offer to put Bob Kiley in charge of negotiations with the preferred bidders, it would have been inconceivable not to take that option and explore the possibility. I think a judge would have said in court, "Why did you come to court when there was a chance of a deal?" It is a route that had to be exhausted before the court case.