Boris Johnson has been blamed for the fiasco over the floundering bid to build a Garden Bridge over the river Thames in a damning independent review.
The bridge was the brain child of actor actor Joanna Lumley which Johnson adopted after winning his second term as Mayor of London.
While the projected cost of the scheme has soared from £60 million to £200 million, two major private donors have abandoned the project and no new pledges have been made since August 2016.
The bridge was originally intended to be funding entirely privately – but £37.4 million of public money has already been spent on the project, according to the review by MP Margaret Hodge.
Even if it’s cancelled by new London Mayor Sadiq Khan, it could end up costing taxpayers £46.4 million after cancelation costs.
That’s a lot of money for a bridge which Boris admitted he “wasn’t really sure what it was for” other than making a “wonderful environment for a crafty cigarette or a romantic assignation.”
The report concludes:
“Decisions on the Garden Bridge were driven by electoral cycles rather than value for money. From its inception when there was confusion as to its purpose, through a weak business case that was constructed after contracts had been let and money had been spent, little regard has been had to value for money.”
And Hodge said she holds Johnson “ultimately responsible for all the decisions and actions taken on the Garden Bridge.”
In his new role of Foreign Secretary, Johnson is making an official visit to Greece, where he will meet left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
He’s not in a strong position to start giving lessons on public spending…