Review of GLA powers - Consultation process (Supplementary) [4]

Session date: 
December 14, 2005
Question By: 
John Biggs
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

You have answered the question about a mad or a bad Mayor, I suppose there is a further question which is about a Mayor who attempts to implement a programme which is so manifestly stupid that it should be stopped but the Assembly and other bodies do not have the capacity to do that. How are you going to deal with that issue?

Answer

Answer for Review of GLA powers - Consultation process (Supplementary) [4]

Answer for Review of GLA powers - Consultation process (Supplementary) [4]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The Mayor: Clearly, if people have elected somebody on a barmy programme that they try to carry out, you cannot complain. That is what people voted for. John Biggs (AM): That is not the question. The Mayor: If someone who had been elected then tried to carry out policies that were intensely divisive or wasteful, if you examine the GLA Act, the Government has powers to intervene at almost every level. Underlying that is the simple reality that for my budget there is a 60% grant from central Government. If ever a Mayor started going off the rails, the Government can just turn off the tap and that would be the end of the Mayor. We have all forgotten now because I am getting on all right with the Government, but the debate right the way through Parliament, particularly raised by the Liberal Democrats, was `Why are all these reserve powers in this Act for the Government to step in and override the Mayor?' Simply because none of them have ever been used, does not mean to say they are not there. The Government effectively would be in that position ' the stop-gap to step in. John Biggs (AM): Then in answer to both of those questions, the answer is that a third party, whether it is the police or the Government, should have the power to intervene to manage a Mayor who is in some way out of control. The Mayor: I think that is inevitable given that this is a wholly political body and would vote along political lines. This is the weakness in Parliament with self-regulation about Members. I have watched the House of Commons vote both for Tory and Labour MPs who are caught in corrupt practices to broadly let them off with a slap on the wrist because they are all mates. The reality here is that if there was a chance for you to get rid of me, whether or not I had broken the law or done something dubious, you would most probably all take it because that is in your own party interest. That is the problem. You vote as party animals, not necessarily for what is in the best interests of London.