CROYDON COMMENTARY: A week ago, we reported how horse-trading at City Hall had seen the Tories take their pick of the top posts on the various committees at the London Assembly. Here, MURAD QURESHI explains why that is a very bad move for Londoners
After looking at last week’s “carve up” of committee positions at the London Assembly more closely, the one that causes most alarm for me is what happens to the fire, resilience and emergency planning committee.
It is the committee that has been scrutinising Grenfell and the cladding scandal for Londoners under Andrew Dismore’s able chairmanship, not only at the London level but nationally as well.
We can not expect this committee now to be critical of a Tory-run local council and how a Tory government has handled the cladding scandal nationally now that it is under complete Tory control, with Susan Hall, the Conservative leader at City Hall, as its chair and Nicholas Rogers as her deputy.
The most important thing about these committee positions is that they determine the committees’ priorities for scrutiny over the year, even rest of the Mayoral term.
It is equally unlikely then that, with Hall as the deputy chair of the GLA Oversight committee, we will see the Jennifer Arcuri scandal involved the previous Mayor of London pursued with the kind of vigour that it might deserve.
So l don’t want to see any more crocodile tears from the LibDems or Greens at City Hall over Grenfell and cladding scandal, or the Arcuri affair, after they handed on a plate critical roles so many Assembly committees to the Tories.
- Murad Qureshi, pictured right, was a Labour Party London Assembly Member from 2004 until May 2021, in which time he chaired the environment committee and was a member of the transport committee. While chairing the environment committee, Qureshi was involved with work that opposed the expansion of Heathrow Airport
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I do not want to see crocodile tears anywhere, just competence, transparency and accountability from elected representatives. Neither major parties have demonstrated any of those requisites.
Croydon is a sad example of Labour mismanagement at every level.
Whilst I may agree with Murad Qureshi’s points on Grenfell/cladding scandal/Arcuri, I would ask him which steps the Labour Group took to offer a shared platform to LibDems and Greens. When you do not have a majority, you need to work much harder.
You asked him a question. You didn’t get an answer. Funny that.
He probably didn’t answer because he wasn’t there, Arf. Remember, he was the Labour list AM who got dropped off the Assembly because of Starmer’s appalling impact on the Labour Party and Khan’s quietly waning appeal.
I hope l am proven wrong by the Tory Group at City Hall looking out for all Londoners on these critical issues of the day with these issues but l’ve seen how the Committee structures work firsthand.
During my time at City Hall, l thought we worked well under Ken Livingstone’s administrations on budgetary affairs with the Greens and during Boris Johnson’s administration as a united progressive front with Greens & Lib Dems scrutinising the Mayors policies and stands across all the Committees for the whole of his time as Mayor.