As the Evening Standard reports today:
Ken Livingstone has been accused of “misleading the public” after claiming an internal probe into the City Hall grants scandal was independent.
The Mayor was attacked by MPs from all three big political parties over his claim about the London Development Agency review. It examined allegations that LDA cash was misappropriated by friends of his adviser Lee Jasper…
Today the London Assembly heard evidence from two senior LDA officials dramatically at odds with Mr Livingstone’s claims.
Andrew Travers, who led the review, told Assembly members: “The review has been conducted by a team of LDA staff supported by a team of internal auditors – the conclusions of the review are mine alone.”
LDA chief executive Manny Lewis said the review had spoken neither to Mr Jasper, nor to anyone from the suspect projects or not employed by City Hall.
Labour MP Kate Hoey, Lib-Dem Lynne Featherstone and Conservative Greg Hands accused the Mayor of misleading the public. Mr Hands, MP for Hammersmith and Fulham, said: “It is deeply misleading for Mr Livingstone to suggest that the LDA has either been cleared or that the enquiry is independent.”
Ms Featherstone said: “Ken has no shame. It is almost as if if he shouts loud enough he makes what he is saying true, but the evidence shows that what the Mayor has said is not true.”
Ms Hoey, MP for Vauxhall, said: “The Mayor has been consistently misleading the public over the status of this review. It was not independent and it did not clear Mr Jasper or the LDA. People need to wake up about what is happening.” …
Assembly members fiercely criticised a Mayoral and LDA press release issued last Friday claiming the review had given the projects the all-clear. Lib Dem leader Mike Tuffrey described it as “spin” … [See my previous blog entry on this]
Mr Travers also confirmed that the review had not spoken to Brenda Stern, the ex-LDA whistleblower at the centre of the allegations involving one of the projects.