London Safety (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
January 16, 2020
Question By: 
Susan Hall
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Susan Hall AM:  Mr Mayor, coming in on the back of my colleague, who is completely right, staffing costs at City Hall are going up to £65 million.  That is double what it was in Boris Johnson’s [MP] last year, double, and quite frankly people out there are far more interested in being kept safe.  It is down to you to make sure that the MPS can keep them safe and looking at the figures, they are not being kept safe.  You should be looking at where you are spending your money because I would say to you people do not want people in this building, they want police officers out there keeping them safe.  Thank you, Madame Chairman.

Supplementary To: 


London Safety (Supplementary) [1]

London Safety (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Chair, is that a second speech?  Have we changed the rules of MQT? 


Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Chair):  No.  Again, that was a Member going off speechifying but if you, Mr Mayor, want to make a comment on what you have just heard from the two Members I am happy to give you the floor.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Chair, I make two short points in response to two long speeches.  The first short point is that we have invested from City Hall record sums in the MPS but the context is huge cuts from central Government, and if the Conservatives did not accept that cuts have consequences, if the Conservatives did not accept that they made a huge error in making these cuts to the police service in 2010 which were repeated for the last nine years, why are they now doing a partial U‑turn?  It is because they recognise the consequences of their cuts.


The second point I would make in relation to City Hall during my mayoralty versus the previous Mayor and the one before him is that we are doing far more now than any previous administration has done.  For example, we now have a deal done with the Government in housing, £4.82 billion to spend building affordable homes in London.  That requires staff to administer that fund to make sure the homes are being built because if they were not being properly checked and there was not the due diligence I would be criticised for not doing that due diligence. 


I will give you another example of the additional powers we have since I became Mayor. 


Tony Devenish AM:  Chair, we are talking about crime.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  We are now responsible for adult education.  This is a budget north of £300 million.  If I was not, in City Hall, having staff to administer this budget and make sure it is spent properly, I would be criticised by Members of the Conservative Assembly for not making sure we get value for money. 


I will give you another example ‑‑


Tony Arbour AM (Deputy Chairman):  No.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  ‑‑ of some of the big changes made since I became Mayor. 


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  The previous Mayor buried away reports on the consequences of our poor‑quality air in London.  That included ‑‑


Tony Devenish AM:  Chair, we are talking about crime. 


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Well, it is a ‑‑


Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Chair):  No, can I just finish with the Mayor?  It is all the mutterings around I am not listening to.  Mr Mayor, can you make a final comment, please?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  I only got through the second of the points that they have made, but, on air quality, the previous Mayor buried away a report ‑‑


Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Chair):  No.  You go too far.  Let us move on.  What was the point of order, Assembly Member Duvall?


Len Duvall AM:  The point of order is that Assembly Member Hall introduced the wider topic, which the Mayor was responding to and right to respond to --


Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Chair):  I have dealt with that.


Len Duvall AM:  -- Quite frankly, he had a legitimate right to respond to the Conservatives.  It is no good muttering and saying we started off with crime.  Actually, Assembly Member Hall introduced the wider issues about staffing issues and value for money and about what we were providing here.  Chair, if I could ask ‑ and I know it is very difficult in the chair ‑ maybe if you could intervene to say that it was not appropriate to raise that topic?  Maybe we need to discipline ourselves around those issues if we do not feel comfortable with the way the Mayor is answering it.


Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Chair):  Thank you for that.  What I am showing is that I believe people are in here and are watching and are wanting a mayoral response to questions.  They are also wanting to hear a mayoral response to comments made about mayoral actions.  I shall chair the meeting accordingly.  Thank you.


Members just need to maybe go back to their training notes about how to put a question and then wait for an answer and then maybe put a follow‑up question.  That would be unique, would it not, and really interesting?  I say no more.