If you though that the London Assembly's AGM was a debate and a series of votes to decide who best to be the chairs and deputy chairs of our various committee, think again.
Before the elections I had a number of conversations with the leaders of other groups in the Assembly about a more proportional allocation of posts in the Assembly. I thought that there was a recognition that the old way of doing things wasn't healthy and reduced the effectiveness of our scrutiny. Clearly those talks took place before the Labour, Lib Dems and Greens knew how many members they would have.
Once they realised they had the numbers to steam roll their way through the Assembly those grown up discussions were chucked out. It has been revealed that rather than continue with proper cross party talks the Conservative group found out that a back room deal had been done which excluded our members from playing their full part in the work of the London Assembly.
A copy of their agreement can be read in full here and as you can see it sets everything out for the next four years. I can't really see the point in the next thee AGMs, the decisions have already been made.
I draw your attention to the final lines which state: "Therefore the Labour group will support resources being
allocated to the smaller groups that provide adequate and appropriate resources
to support Group management and overheads". What this says is that in return for joining the stitch up the Lib Dems and Greens can count on the votes of the Labour group in the allocation of funding. Don't be surprised to see the Lib Dems and Greens do rather well out of the budget allocation vote in a week or so's time.
Are the Labour group buying votes with your money? We will be referring this to the GLA Monitoring Officer to let him decide, but it smells pretty dirty to me.
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