London mayor Ken Livingstone was heading for a showdown with members of the Greater London Assembly this week over his determination to appoint Lord Rogers to a paid consultancy role.
Two weeks ago assembly members demanded that Livingstone remove the £130,000-a-year post from his proposed budget because, they claimed, it represented a conflict of interest with Lord Rogers' existing role as an unpaid adviser to the mayor and also with his role as a London architect (AJ 1.2.00).
But on Monday, Livingstone published a revised budget which ignored their demand. The revised budget states: 'The mayor is anxious for GLA to take a lead in progressing the recommendations of the Urban White Paper. . . Discussions are continuing on awarding a consultancy to Lord Rogers, the chair of the Urban Task Force.'
Conservative member Eric Ollerenshaw pledged to fight Livingstone's position in today's full assembly meeting. 'The GLA is rapidly becoming the Rogers and Foster show, ' he said. Assembly members can only force Livingstone to scrap the post if two-thirds of them vote against it.