Sadiq Khan and his Greater London Authority (GLA) are under intense scrutiny as the mayoral election is less than six weeks away. While polls predi
Sadiq Khan and his Greater London Authority (GLA) are under intense scrutiny as the mayoral election is less than six weeks away. While polls predict a landslide victory on May 6, a recent report, which looks at how the Labour politician has punched a hole into the finances of the GLA, could complicate things for him. According to famed columnist Steerpike, Mr Khan has gone both “woke” and “broke” during his time as Mayor.
The number of staff at City Hall has increased by 45 percent in just four years, rising from 817 in May 2016 to 1,190 in April 2020.
Among these, Steerpike noted, include at least nine members of staff tasked with responsibilities for inclusion, diversity and fairness – a ratio of one per 132 total employees.
The columnist wrote: “Posts include a Programme Director for Economic Fairness who earns between £70,241 and £76,029 compared to a London Assembly Member’s salary of £58,543.
“Mr S has totted up the figures and based on GLA salary bands they should be pulling in a combined annual income of between £467,340 and £508,648.”
By comparison the Department for Business just across the Thames has only six employees with the words “equality, diversity, inclusion, gender, LGBT or race” in their job title, Steerpike added.
This is despite boasting some 4,760 staff in their core department – a ratio of one diversity officer to every 793 civil servants.
The columnist concluded in his piece for The Spectator: “The Treasury has five for 1,700 staff – a rate of one per 340 – while the Home Office has 18 members of its central Diversity and Inclusion team. This is to cover a workforce of nearly 37,000 staff or one equality officer per 2,000 mandarins.
“The figures, released after a freedom of information request, come just weeks after it was revealed that the Mayor’s controversial ‘commission for diversity in the public realm’ is expected to cost more than £1million.
“Members of the commission were announced last month and have a brief to review all of London’s statues and street names following the toppling of Edward Colston in Bristol last July.
“Activist Toyin Agbetu has already been forced to resign from the panel after a fortnight following the discovery of antisemitic posts by Jewish News.”
Asked about the figures, a spokesperson for the Mayor told the publication: “With Londoners still facing discrimination because of sexuality, gender, disability or the colour of their skin, the mayor makes no apology for promoting fairness, diversity and inclusion across the capital.
“The lack of similar posts across Whitehall could suggest that the Government does not take issues regarding diversity and equality seriously enough.”
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Earlier this week, actor Laurence Fox launched his London mayoral campaign by describing the capital as the “cathedral of wokery” and promising to “unlock” the city.
The “anti-woke” campaigner unveiled his campaign battle bus, which featured the words “Free London” and a picture of a gagged Winston Churchill statue.
Arriving on the bus in Westminster, Mr Fox said: “I am not a politician.
“I never wanted to be a politician.”
He is standing for the Reclaim Party, which he founded last year to “fight the culture wars”.
His campaign will be completely funded by a donation from ex-Tory political donor Jeremy Hosking.
He declared: “Freedom of speech is under threat in the cathedral of wokery that is London.
“We are here to reclaim your freedom and we need to unlock London now.
“Someone needs to unlock London now, and I can tell you one thing: Sadiq can’t. And Sadiq Won’t. Sadiq Khan is ashamed to be British.”
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Claiming to have seen Mr Khan from the top deck of the bus, Mr Fox shrilled in an excited voice: “Sadiq, I’m taking your house, mate.”
Mr Fox also confirmed that he will refuse a Covid vaccine until after 2023.
Meanwhile, Mr Khan focussed on getting Londoners working as he launched his campaign outside the Savoy Hotel.
Calling the May 6 election “a two-horse race”, he unveiled his own “jobs, jobs, jobs” pledge to spend £32million on employment assistance as part of his re-election campaign.
He added: “These new training academies will play a key role in helping Londoners get into good quality and well-paid jobs in the future.”