I know the Evening Standard is still in honeymoon period after helping elect Boris Johnson but its slobbering praise for Boris Johnson must surely be becoming a bit embarassing to his supporters?
“A private equity millionaire branded ‘The Prince of Darkness’ for his ruthless costcutting has been appointed Boris Johnson’s chief of staff,” gushes the London paper. Tim Parker is now Boris Johnson’s fifth deputy mayor. Presumably Boris will be so busy writing his weekly column for the Telegraph and other duties that he needs so many deputies around him. It isn’t just that, “We now have a First Deputy Mayor, three notional deputy mayors and a statutory Deputy Mayor whose responsibilities seem extremely vague to say the least.”
It’s also that:
Deputy mayor Richard Barnes, who will technically stand in for his boss in his absence, earns Â£92,594 for his role. However his executive counterpart, deputy mayor for government relations Ian Clement, will pick up Â£124,364 while deputy mayor for young people Ray Lewis is unpaid at present but is expected to receive about the same.
The fourth deputy mayor, Kit Malthouse, will only be paid his Assembly member’s salary of Â£53,543 to run policing. There are still unanswered questions about his status as both an elected official and a member of the executive he is supposed to scrutinise.
Former BBC political correspondent Guto Harri, the Mayor’s director of communications, will earn Â£124,364. He gave up a lucrative position with PR firm Fleishman-Hillard to join Mr Johnson’s team. Director of transport Kulveer Ranger will earn Â£100,000 while director of arts and culture Munira Mirza will receive Â£80,000.
Mmm…. mooolah. Maybe the first round of cost-cutting could go towards all the deputy mayors and their Â£100k+ salaries? Another advisor was also going to be paid about a Â£100k before it turned out it possibly wasn’t legit. No mention of “exorbitant salaries” yet on the Evening Standard’s articles.
Oh and this is also quite amusing. The Mayor’s own cultural advisor preumably opposes his policies to ban drinking on the tube (you heard it here first!). Munira Mirza co-founded the Manifesto Club. MC opposes drinking ban on the tube. I see a story there!
Update: The Observer picks it up.
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