The enmity amongst Boris Johnson’s top transport advisers will be palpable on Victoria Embankment this morning, where Boris Johnson is PR-ing his “cycling vision” for London. His media lackey and “cycling commissioner” Andrew Gilligan will be in attendance, alongside Transport for London commissioner Peter Hendy (far left above) — a man apparently described by Gilligan as a:
“long-serving transport beaurocrat who got lucky”
Gilligan has never publicly denied accusations from London hacks Adam Bienkov and Dave Hill that he was behind the online sockpuppet “kennite”, which was used to troll the Ken Livingstone administration and opponents of Boris Johnson:
The bitter resistance to the plum cycling czar appointment by City Hall figures such as Isabel Dedring (above right) has its roots in Gilligan’s characterisation of his current colleagues as the UK’s most grasping fat cats:
“Local government, with Mr Hendy as a prime example, shows how, in the public sector, perhaps even more than in the private, senior rewards seem to have lost all relationship with the service performed and the value obtained.”
Not having beaten the likes of Hendy, however, Gilligan has opted to join them – on a pro-rata salary of £95,000 per year.
Boris Johnson is to give Telegraph journalist Andrew Gilligan a plum City Hall job, Scrapbook understands. The paid appointment of, errr, cycling czar, comes Gilligan’s way less than a year after he acted as Boris’ election hatchet man in the mainstream media — with a pursuit of Ken Livingstone bordering on the obsessive.
Boris has form for giving friendly journalists — former Evening Standard editor Veronica Wadley is paid to advise the mayor on the Olympics volunteering legacy.
UPDATE: Statement from City Hall –
“It has always been the Mayor’s intention to appoint a Cycling Commissioner. Final discussions with Andrew Gilligan are taking place regarding a part-time role but at this stage no formal appointment has been made.”
Doubtless the Evening Standard will be taking a “cronyism” angle on this story. Cough.
With the Daily Telegraph’s Andrew Gilligan pouring derision on Ken Livingstone for trying to move the mayoral race away from negative campaigning, does the “journalist” protest too much?
As noted by the blog Gilligan Watch, who have surveyed all of his ramblings, the number of attack posts Gilligan produces is frankly staggering. Andy has churned out 27 hatchet jobs in the last month – comprising 75% of his blogging output.
- 27 posts attacking Ken
- 2 posts praising Boris
- 1 declaring Brian Paddick the winner of a debate (so he didn’t have to say it was Ken)
The animated GIF below relates a pretty accurate metaphor.
Boris Johnson’s campaign press team have over-active imaginations if Andrew Gilligan’s latest column is anything to go by. The Telegraph’s London editor tells us that the controversial equalities adviser Lee Jasper would make a return to City Hall if Ken Livingstone beats the Tory mayor in 2012′s election:
“In recent months, despite Ken’s denials, the signs have been growing that Ken, if re-elected, is preparing to do what he promised in 2008 – and bring Jasper back.”
Despite Livingstone never “promising” anything of the sort, Scrapbook was intrigued to read Gilligan’s creative interpretation of what these “signs” were:
“Next week, according to emails sent out by the organisers, Ken and Jasper will share a platform for the first time since the scandal, at the May Day rally in Trafalgar Square no less.”
Erm, right. Here’s our graphical re-enactment of Gilligan’s visual-cognitive process:
Adam Bienkov now reports Team Ken have ruled out Jasper’s return and that, strangely, Gilligan never phoned them to find this out.
Could this be because he knew his story was crap?