Insights from the UK and beyond
The resignation of another key aide to Mayor Boris Johnson has sparked renewed questions over the Mayor of London’s leadership, with opposition leaders at City Hall charging that the “wheels are coming off” his new administration.
Tim Parker , the First Deputy Mayor and Chairman of Transport for London (TfL), has stepped down from both jobs, saying it was inappropriate for him to hold them as an unelected official. His resignation is the third of a key aide in the four months of Johnson’s mayorship.
Despite having a rather big job to do already in running the capital, Johnson will now chair TfL himself. In his usual combative style he announced: “Over the last few weeks, it has become increasingly apparent to both of us that the nature of the decisions that need to be taken are highly political and there is no substitute for me, as the directly elected Mayor, being in charge.There are limits, therefore, to what can be delegated.”
It begs the question why Parker was installed in both roles in the first place – the running of London’s transport system has always been a politically charged issue.
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Hundreds of thousands of council workers are striking over pay in the biggest bout of industrial unrest in years.
Members of Unite and Unison are protesting over deals to increase their pay by 2.45 per cent, which is below the rate of inflation and which they say means an effective pay cut.
The members of the NUT, as many as 200,000 teachers, say the action is to teach the government a lesson for offering them an unacceptable, below-inflation three-year pay deal.