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Garden Bridge fiasco: Boris Johnson and transport boss John Armitt ordered to hand over emails

Garden bridge

Former London Mayor Boris Johnson and National Infrastructure Commission chair John Armitt and are among 30 politicians and transport bosses who have been ordered to hand over email correspondence relating to the canned Garden Bridge project

The London Assembly has issued a summons, which calls for all ’briefings and draft briefings, presentations, and e-mail correspondence’ relating to the Garden Bridge project to be handed over.

Transport for London (TFL) commissioner Mike Brown, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and deputy mayor Heidi Alexander will be in charge of providing the documents.

According to the AJ’s sister title NCE, the Assembly has also requested to see emails from the ex-chief executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering Nelson Ogunshakin and Keith Williams, who is currently chairing the government’s ’root and branch’ rail review.

Garden Bridge Working Group chair Tom Copley said: ’We expect full cooperation with our continued investigations into the failed Garden Bridge project and will use all of the powers at our disposal to get it.

‘This project was an appalling waste of public money and we intend to get to the bottom of who is responsible.’

The documents and files are to be provided no later than two weeks from the date of the summons notice.

The summons comes after TfL commissioner Mike Brown admitted that the Garden Bridge Trust was ’reckless’ in awarding its construction contract before planning permission was in place.

Bouygues was paid £21.4 million before the Thames project was scrapped in 2017. In total, the Garden Bridge Trust – which was fully responsible for the construction and management of the project – spent £53 million on the project.

The London Assembly has previously summonsed all Garden Bridge correspondence involving TfL commissioner Mike Brown, TfL head of corporate affairs Andy Brown, TfL general counsel Howard Carter, TfL solicitor Charles Ritchie and TfL director of city planning Alex Williams.

Full list of people summonsed:

  • Sadiq Khan
  • Heidi Alexander
  • Dr Mee Ling Ng
  • Dr Nelson Ogunshakin
  • Kay Carberry
  • Mark Phillips
  • Prof Greg Clark
  • Val Shawcross
  • Bronwen Handyside
  • Dr Nina Skorupska
  • Ron Kalifa
  • Dr Lynn Sloman
  • Dr Alice Maynard
  • Ben Story
  • Anne McMeel
  • Boris Johnson MP
  • Peter Anderson
  • John Armitt
  • Brendan Barber
  • Richard Barnes
  • Charles Belcher
  • Roger Burnley
  • Brian Cooke
  • Baroness Grey-Thompson
  • Angela Knight
  • Michael Liebreich
  • Eva Lindholm
  • Daniel Moylan
  • Bob Oddy
  • Keith Williams
  • Steve Wright

Readers' comments (4)

  • the construction contract would be a relevant document would it not? I guess they can only summons information from public servants rather than an independent charity... but given that TfL is such a large client contractors and consultants perhaps Bouygues or Arup will see fit to send a copy to the GLA for the sake of openness and transparency

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  • Could it be because TfL is such a large client that some of the professionals caught up in the procurement procedure seem to have been very reluctant to speak out?

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  • No Joanna Lumley or Heatherwick on the list - are they deemed innocent?

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  • Isabel Dedring isn't there, either - I'd assumed that some 'persons of interest' might have already handed over their relevant email correspondence.

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