Boris Johnson’s Deputy’s outside interests under scrutiny

4th March, 2012 4:34 pm

Karen Buck MP has asked the GLA standards committee to investigate the Deputy Mayor of London Kit Malthouse after the Sunday Times reported that he used his offices for meetings related to his outside interests. The Sunday Times reveals that Malthouse – Boris Johnson’s deputy for policing – has 6 outside directorships, including a job as finance director of a hedge fund.

The reports also notes a culture of “moonlighting” at London’s City Hall including:

* Christine Chau, Assistant Director for London Engagement for the mayor, says on her Twitter biog her ‘day job’ [is] ‘running marketing, events & sponsorship at the GLA’ but is also ‘the founder and main shareholder in Charley Chau, which designs snuggle beds, luxury dog blankets and dog baskets.’ She is paid £102,558 – £111,044 by the taxpayer. The Sunday Times says her firm’s website ‘stated explicitly yesterday that she was the first point of contact for customer inquiries. “We’re here to help and you can reach Christine or Jenny on the email and phone number below,” it read.’

* Daniel Moylan, ‘who earns £121,000 for a four-day week as deputy chairman of Transport for London and is a member of London Waste and Recycling Board, has three directorships with Glanmore Investments and two associated ventures’

* Sir Peter Rogers, ‘who was appointed last May as Johnson’s regeneration adviser on a salary of £127,784, has been allowed to keep his jobs running his own performance management firm, a directorship of Regent’s Park Theatre and his chairmanship of People Too, a firm that promises to boost efficiency in the public sector. Its website boasts of his “huge impact on public services” working for the mayor’

Responding to today’s report, Buck said:

“The Sunday Times has taken the lid off Tory City Hall and found it packed to the rafters with people moonlighting even as they raise the fares of ordinary Londoners. The industrial levels of moonlighting includes one person paid over £100,000 for a four-day week while at the same time supporting Boris Johnson as he raises fares for ordinary Londoners, and an Assistant Director bizarrely running a pet bedding company on top of her six-figure taxpayer-funded second job. We also need to establish if any of these posts constitute conflicts of interest.”

“Kit Malthouse AM has serious questions to answer. Mr Malthouse has admitted to the Sunday Times that he has used his offices to hold meetings concerning his private outside interests. In doing so Mr Malthouse has used publicly-funded facilities to hold meetings for his outside private interests. He risks bringing the authority into disrepute if he is seen to have used his offices to secure a private advantage for himself and his outside interests by using taxpayer resources to support his private interests.”

The Labour MP’s complaint involves two areas in which Mr Malthouse may have broken the GLA code of conduct

“you must not use or attempt to use your position as a member improperly to confer on or secure for yourself or any other person, an advantage or disadvantage” and

“you must not conduct yourself in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing your office or authority into disrepute”.

You can read Karen Buck’s letter to the GLA standard committee below.

———————–

Mr Ed Williams
The Monitoring Officer
Greater London Authority
City Hall
The Queen’s Walk
London SE1 2AA4

March 2012

Dear Mr Williams,

Formal complaint regarding Kit Malthouse AM, Deputy Mayor for policing and crime

The contents of this letter should be treated as formal complaint to the GLA and the GLA standards committee with regard to breaches of the GLA code of conduct by Kit Malthouse AM.

As I am sure you are aware the code of conduct applies to all London Assembly members and as such I require an investigation into Mr Malthouse’s conduct to take place.

As you may have noticed from recent press coverage in the Sunday Times (March 4 2012), Mr Malthouse holds 6 outside directorships in addition to his role(s) at City Hall.The Sunday Times report stated that: “He (Mr Malthouse) said he had used his offices to hold no more than four meetings concerning his outside interests.”I believe that if the quote attributed to Mr Malthouse in the Sunday Times is correct then he has broken the GLA code of conduct on at least 2 occasions.

In addition it may also be that these actions could result in a “Recorded Complaint” against Mr Malthouse on the basis of the Elected Local Policing Bodies (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2011 in his role as Deputy Mayor for policing and crime.The relevant sections of the GLA code of conduct that Mr Malthouse has breached are:
1: Section 6a of the GLA code of conduct states 6. You— a) must not use or attempt to use your position as a member improperly to confer on or secure for yourself or any other person, an advantage or disadvantage;

and Mr Malthouse has admitted to the Sunday Times that he has used his offices to hold meetings concerning his private outside interests. In doing so Mr Malthouse has used publically funded facilities to hold meetings for his outside private interests. Therefore Mr Malthouse has used his offices to secure a private advantage for himself/his outside interests by using taxpayer resources to support his private interests.

2: Section 5 of the GLA code of conduct states
5. You must not conduct yourself in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing your office or authority into disrepute.

Mr Malthouse’s use of taxpayer resources to provide free facilities to his outside business interests has now appeared in the national press. Both the act of using public facilities to support his outside business interests and the negative story it creates about the GLA as a whole raise concerns that Mr Malthouse may have brought his office into disrepute.As part of this investigation it is vital that the GLA look into how arrangements for these meetings were made. If staff of the GLA were asked to help in the arranging and hosting of these meetings then a further breach of the code of conduct will have occurred. Namely section 4 clause d) which states that a member of the GLA must not “do anything which compromises or is likely to compromise the impartiality of those who work for, or on behalf of, the Authority”.

As I am sure you are aware there is a possibility that the subject of this compliant may not be in office in a short period from now and therefore it is vital that if the code is to applied in a transparent and fair way then the investigation into Mr Malthouse must report as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Karen Buck MP

CC:
Mr Kit Malthouse AM
Mr Boris Johnson – Mayor of London
Claer Lloyd-Jones – GLA standards Committee (Chair)
Tony Arbour – GLA standards Committee (Deputy Chair)

Value our free and unique service?

LabourList has more readers than ever before - but we need your support. Our dedicated coverage of Labour's policies and personalities, internal debates, selections and elections relies on donations from our readers.

If you can support LabourList’s unique and free service then please click here.

To report anything from the comment section, please e-mail [email protected]
  • JoeDM

    Pity you don’t take the same level interest in Ken’s use of a Limited Company to avoid income tax !!!!

    • Dave Postles

       Morally reprehensible as it is, using a company as a tax avoidance scheme is not illegal.  Using council premises for private, personal purposes for gain is prohibited to local government officers or elected members by their standing orders.  It is a misappropriation of council resources.  I am surprised that the District Auditor has not taken action. Local authority standing orders are very strict about such matters and any elected member or senior officer must be cognizant of that.

  • Sam

    This is just plain greed. How can an assistand director with such a huge salary actually manage a second pisition and not feel there is a conflict of interest. Glad they were removed.

x

LabourList Daily Email

Everything Labour. Every weekday morning

Share with your friends










Submit