Mayor answers to London
Police Borough Devolved Budgets
Question by Jenny Jones
On this issue of cuts to borough budgets, in your election manifesto you did promise to direct more resources to frontline policing, which I think most of us would agree with. You said you would spend less on press officers. Now, in 2007/0808, which was Kens [Livingstone] last year, £5.7 million was spent on press officers at the police and this next year you are going to spend £6.8 million. That is a 20% increase. In the same year, Kens last year, there were 73 press officers, and for the next year there are going to be 74. So you are actually making cuts to the boroughs but not fulfilling your promise to cut the press officers at the Metropolitan Police Service. Why is that?
Answer by Boris Johnson (1st Term)
I will certainly look into what you have said. I have to treat these figures with some caution. I remember we had a discussion about reductions in press officers in this place which as it turned out was founded on a complete misapprehension on the part of the Assembly Members. It turned out that the Assembly had almost as many we did.
Jenny Jones (AM): I am talking about police press officers, Mr Mayor.
Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Is that right? We had actually reduced very significantly the number of press officers responsible to the Mayoralty and you have mystifyingly failed to do any such thing yourselves. I am listening, Jenny. I am going to look at what you say. If it is true that the number of press officers has gone up from 73 to 74, I will certainly see. You have got a result. I am going to look at it.
Jenny Jones (AM): Is that a result?