Publicity during the General Election campaign

Meeting: 
MQT on 2015-05-21
Session date: 
May 21, 2015
Reference: 
2015/1252
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

Can an explanation be given why a press release from the Mayor's office was released during the General Election campaign and while the 'purdah' rules applied, relating to your launch of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, making the bold claim that it will 'seek to deliver up to 24,000 homes and more than 55,000 jobs' yet your resignation from  chairing the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation was not press released, despite being confirmed before the 7th May.  On reflection, during a General Election period, where strict rules about publicity created by the Mayor and London Assembly should apply, do you agree that either both significant developments should have been deferred in being publicised, or alternatively both have been publicised via a press release before the 7th May.

Answer

Answer for Publicity during the General Election campaign

Answer for Publicity during the General Election campaign

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The statement that the Corporation will seek to deliver up to 24,000 homes and more than 55,000 jobs was contained in the relevant Mayoral Decision form, published in June 2014, nearly a year before the General Election. The press release on 1 April 2015 did not, therefore, contain any new announcements; it simply explained, in a factual way, why the Corporation (which includes the leaders of the London Boroughs of Brent, Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham on its Board) has been established. All press releases issued during the pre-election period were sent to the Monitoring Officer prior their publication. My understanding is that, for these reasons, the Monitoring Officer was content that this matter was routine business and so could be published at that time.