Former mayor Boris Johnson will be summoned to City Hall in March to answer questions on the Garden Bridge, the London Assembly has confirmed
Late last year the Assembly’s oversight committee relaunched its inquiries into the scrapped Thomas Heatherwick-designed project and has announced it will grill Johnson, now the Foreign Secretary, over the bridge’s procurement on 1 March at 2pm.
Johnson has been summoned by the Assembly under powers granted to it in the Greater London Authority Act. It is the first time the legal instrument has been used on a former London Mayor. Failure to attend without reasonable excuse is a criminal offence.
Sadiq Khan’s predecessor will be asked to explain how an estimated £46.4 million of transport finance was spent – and ultimately wasted – on the proposed £200 million link between Temple and the South Bank before it was finally abandoned last August.
Len Duvall, chair of the cross-party Oversight Committee said: ’I’m very glad the Foreign Secretary has responded positively to our summons. The former mayor did not participate in the Hodge review of the Garden Bridge Project and we believe only part of the story was told when he appeared before us in December 2015.
’[Hodge] did not have the power to formally require the former mayor to give evidence; however the Assembly does have that statutory power.’
Johnson – who was made Foreign Secretary by Prime Minister Theresa May in July 2016 – was the only individual out of dozens approached to give evidence to Hodge who refused to do so.
In April Hodge, the veteran Labour MP and former chair of the Public Accounts Committee, published a series of devastating conclusions on the project’s procurement and value for money.
The AJ will be covering Johnson’s appearance before the oversight committee live on 1 March 2018.