The senior Boris Johnson aide who Scrapbook revealed had been accused of harassment has been named as his deputy mayor, Stephen Greenhalgh. The Tory, who is paid a whopping £127,784 per year, has apologised after allegedly fondling the bottom of a female member of staff in a lift.
Despite claiming that he could not remember the incident, Greenhalgh gave the following statement to Snipe late last night:
“I would like to apologise unreservedly for anything that could be or may have been construed as inappropriate behaviour on my part.”
Greenhalgh was appointed as Boris’ deputy mayor for policing in June after Scrapbookbroke the news that he was quitting as leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
His tenure got off to one of the worst starts in City Hall history after he attempted to answer policing questions on his own — spurning the assistance of the Met boss Bernard Hogan Howe, who would usually accompanies the deputy mayor.
The incident is already the territory of a City Hall turf war … but more on that later.
London’s bumbling Deputy Mayor for Policing, Stephen Greenhalgh, was caught red handed at the GLA Police & Crime Committee today, after he was spotted brandishing a confidential document detailing the questions he would be asked.
Committee chair Joanne McCartney spotted the papers, clearly marked “Confidential, for committee members” on the desk in front of Greenhalgh, who claimed it had been given to him by someone in his office. Boris’ deputy mayor frantically flicked through the document before assembly member Caroline Pidgeon snatched it out of his hands.
The scrutiny briefing contains notes on policing and, crucially, suggested questions for committee members to ask. The incident follows hot on the heels of what is widely viewed to be the most disastrous scrutiny meeting in the history of City Hall — in which Greenhalgh arrived without the chief of police and was unable to answer most of the questions.
Asked by McCartney to find out where his office obtained the briefing, Greenhalgh initially pledged to do so … but having thought about it for a moment, added:
“If it was acquired anonymously, I won’t be able to tell you, obviously.”
A deputy mayor who can answer questions without cheating isn’t too much to ask.
Less than a glittering first outing for Boris’ newest appointed chum, policing boss Stephen Greenhalgh. The deputy mayor was unable to answer questions from the Policing and Crime Committee — and had told the Met Commissioner to stay at home.
Assembly members were not amused, both at receiving no notice of Bernard Hogan-Howe’s absence and Greenhalgh’s seemingly having come without being briefed on the Olympics or knife crime. Green Party AM Jenny Jones became frustrated when Greenhalgh couldn’t answer her questions about undercover police, telling him that it was “getting a little bit tiresome”.
This probably shouldn’t be altogether surprising from Greenhalgh. He seems to be following his own advice to “fail running a city”, having once said:
“If you’re going to fail, fail running Alabama, fail running Texas, fail running the city of Paris…”
In the first cock-up of Boris’ new term, leading Tory Stephen Greenhalgh has been forced to quit as a councillor in west London to to become deputy mayor for policing – despite claims from council authorities and the Evening Standard that he could continue in both roles.
Stephen Greenhalgh leaving as a H&F councillor so he can be Boris’ deputy mayor for policing.”Too good an opportunity” said sources.
Boris Johnson’s mayoral appointments have hit a road block – after a rule breach over political appointments was highlighted by Scrapbook yesterday.Stephen Greenhalgh will now be forced to quit as a councillor in Hammersmith and Fulham if he is to accept a role as Boris’ deputy mayor for policing.
Despite briefing to the Evening Standard on Greenhalgh’s appointment yesterday, the official announcement was delayed for hours after awkward questions prompted an examination of whether the role was “politically restricted” – meaning it cannot be performed by a sitting councillor.
But a spokesperson for the London Assembly has now said:
“If you are not a member of the Assembly then the position [of deputy mayor for policing] makes you a member of staff of the Mayor’s office for policing and crime and, therefore, under the rules they cannot be a councillor at the same time. He cannot hold both posts at the same time.”
While some hacks claimed that reforms in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act would prevent a similar cockup to that surrounding the appointment of Boris’ planning advisor in 2008, it seems that the legislation still applies rules on political restrictionsas follows:
“In this section a reference to a person holding a politically restricted post under a local authority includes a reference to every member of the staff of an elected local policing body, except for a deputy police and crime commissioner.”
The rules will prevent Greenhalgh from cashing in twice — topping up his full-time deputy mayor salary with councillor allowances.
Have we just witnessed the first significant cockup of Boris’ second stint as mayor? City Hall spinners have briefed that Kit Malthouse has been dumped as deputy mayor for policing to make way for former Hammersmith & Fulham Council, Stephen Greenhalgh (pictured):
Many congratulations to Stephen Greenhalgh on becoming Boris’s Deputy Mayor. Good news for Boris and London. Bad news for criminals.
But the position of deputy mayor classified as a politically restricted advisory position — which is out of bounds for a councillor. Boris’ team don’t seem to be familiar with City Hall’s own interpretation of the so-called Widdicombe rules, which state:
“senior officers should not be politically active, and as a consequence should not be councillors.”
To accept the role, Greenhalgh would presumably need to resign his seat, causing a by-election.
On the same day as approving £60m cuts to public spending and services, flagship Tory council Hammersmith and Fulham apparently still have enough money left to make cringey videos.
The “thank you” campaign even saw council leader Stephen Greenhalgh — whose impending resignation was revealed exclusively by Scrapbook back in December — giving out, errr, roses and chocolates to residents.