Opposition calls for mayor’s aide’s resignation

After an extraordinary meeting of the
London assembly
yesterday, all three opposition parties were calling for the resignation of Lee
Jasper, Mayor Ken Livingstone’s race adviser, over the aide’s involvement in the
London Development Agency
(LDA) funding of 13 suspect projects.

Assembly members questioned Livingstone and senior LDA officials over the
funding scandal at the special session, which uncovered damaging emails showing
Jasper repeatedly pestered LDA to provide more and more funding and prevented it
from acting against one project even when it acted ‘illegally’, the Evening

Contrary to Livingstone’s claim ‘every penny is accounted for’, the emails
also revealed hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money was paid to
projects without any paperwork to show for them; at least £137,000 were paid
without an LDA sign-off; and a £300,000 contract was awarded to one of Jasper’s
friends without the normal tender process or competition.

Assembly members also heard the development agency would be fast-tracking
plans for a more rigorous regime of checks on grant-funded projects following
the accusations against the agency.

Further reading:

LDA: accounting problems are ‘historic’

Livingstone: ‘Accountants can’t judge art’

story in the Evening Standard

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