Thursday, July 12, 2018

Norman Baker: "Boris Johnson was lazy and petulant"

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The former Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker has written a piece on the departure of Boris Johnson for iNews.

When he was a transport minister Norman saw Boris Johnson, then the mayor of London, close up.

I think it is fair to say he was not impressed:
He spent time and money on a white elephant Boris Island airport that was never going to fly. He promoted a garden bridge that has been torn to shreds by the Public Accounts Committee. 
He introduced at vast cost a huge fleet of new Routemasters with open platforms and conductors, only to withdraw all the conductors and keep the doors shut. He gave us a cable car crossing at Greenwich that is a huge drain on the public finances. 
And he bought water cannon vehicles from Germany in an attempt to bounce the then Home Secretary, Theresa May, into allowing them on London’s streets, and when she resisted, he went behind her back to David Cameron. Quite rightly, she told him where to get off. 
He had a habit of running straight to the Prime Minister of the Chancellor to get his way, ignoring successive Transport Secretaries. He was politically highly partisan in a way that was out of line with the coalition, refusing to engage with Lib Dem ministers even where we could be helpful to him. 
And behind that bonhomie, he was lazy and petulant. That a lot went right was down to his inheritance from Ken Livingstone, and the highly competent Peter Hendy at his right-hand side. What worked did so in spite of Boris, not because of him.

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