Anni Marjoram, Equal Rights, Greater London Assembly, Mayor

No-one expected Bonkers Boris to stand up for women’s rights. The Tories’ record is appalling. Their MEPs have consistently opposed measures to improve women’s lives including, amazingly, failing to support a resolution calling for the banning of female genital mutilation across the EU.

I have just come from a meeting of the European Parliament Culture and Education Committee where one of the Conservative MEPs voted against a report calling for women to be encouraged to study science and technology and take up management positions.

So it’s no surprise that Boris Johnson has purged women from City Hall and scrapped the post of women’s adviser held by Anni Marjoram. Anni did a good job for Ken Livingstone on behalf of women. Ken maintained one of the few dedicated women’s rights officers in the public sector anywhere in Europe. London led the way, but sadly does so no more.

The Tories want to take us back to a time before equality of opportunity, a time when women were denied the chances they now have. For all our sakes, we cannot let that happen.


Expenses, Greater London Assembly, London, Mayor

Tory GLA Member Brian Coleman has run up a £4,147 taxi bill this year – more than all the GLA Members put together, including Ken Livingstone. He managed to claim £420 in one fell swoop by asking the cab to wait while he addressed a meeting of the Jewish Forum in Barnet during December.

While I firmly believe we elected representatives need adequate resources to do our jobs, over four grand to travel round the capital seems a bit steep, especially since Ken’s transport improvements have made it much easier.

The odious Coleman denies booking any of the cars himself. He thought he was being ferried around in a GLA official car. “Because I’ve been Chairman and Deputy Chairman I’m entitled to an official car when attending official functions in the morning dress and wearing the diamonds around my neck,” he told “Metro” newspaper.

Yet there is no official car and indulging in the bells and whistles of office is Coleman’s choice ninety-nine percent of the time. Murad Qureshi, a Labour Member of the Greater London Assembly said, “He (Coleman) justifies getting taxis everywhere because he wears his bling around. There’s no reason for him even to be wearing it.”
You and I are paying Mr Coleman’s insecure need to puff himself up. His sense of self-importance is really quite extraordinary and expensive.