Select Committee on Home Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 860 - 862)



  Q860  Chairman: I heard you on Radio 4 recently when you talked about the memorandum that was supposed to be signed between Ken Livingstone and the present Prime Minister. Were you able to find this memorandum? Does it exist?

  Mr Johnson: I was asked whether there was a secret memorandum, if you recall, Mr Vaz, and I am delighted that you draw attention to this. I was asked to explain the existence of a secret memorandum between the previous Mayor and the Government by which London could be exposed to cost overruns and London taxpayers could be asked to pay for any cost overruns. I was able to assure my interviewer, and I assure you now, that there is no secret memorandum. There are two memorandums: one of 2003 and one of 2007. In the second, the material one is from 2007, it makes absolutely clear that London's contribution will not increase in the event of cost overruns.

  Q861  Martin Salter: Last time you appeared before us as a candidate for the mayoral position and we had an interchange on police numbers, you will recall. Over the last five years, the forces surrounding the Metropolitan Police area lost 1,000 officers to the Met as a result of a policy of the Met deliberately poaching trained officers from neighbouring forces, which is clearly good news for London and bad news for the council taxpayers from the surrounding forces. Do you intend to continue with that policy?

  Mr Johnson: I remember this question last time, Mr Salter. You brilliantly divided my loyalties. My loyalties are of course no longer divided. That does not mean that any recruitment policy that we pursue in the Met will be remotely predatory or inimical to the interests of Thames Valley policing.

  Q862  Martin Salter: Mr Mayor, you are advertising in Slough on bus stops about two miles from the border. You are a predator in this regard. Be proud of it. Do not apologise or do something about it.

  Mr Johnson: Let me say that I think the most important thing we can do for London and for Londoners is not just to make sure that we have enough police out on the streets, which is what we want to do and what I think to a very large extent we are succeeding in doing; we have to make sure that we increase police productivity and that they are doing what we want them to do and what they want to do. That will be very much the task of myself and Kit Malthouse in the MPA over the next few years.

  Martin Salter: Brilliantly dodged!

  Chairman: Mr Mayor, we know you are extremely busy and we are very grateful to you for fitting us in. Before you came in, the committee had agreed to hold an inquiry into knife crime later in the year. We will obviously be looking to you and the Mayor's Office to help co-operate with this inquiry. We hope you will be part of that inquiry later on, including of course Mr Malthouse. Thank you for coming. Can we wish you the best of luck in the task you have ahead.

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Prepared 10 November 2008