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June 02, 2008


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He got the boot. Voting went pretty much on party lines, three Tories against, Lib Dems and Labour in favour and Jenny Jones abstaining for the Greens. The Tories are up in arms about the Deputy Chair taking over, since she's a Labour councillor from Haringey.


It may be worth pointing out that I don't think it was *just* the Tories opposed to the position being automatically conferred to the Deputy of Travelwatch. If there had been a majority in favour of that, I guess it would have happened.

I think it was the Lib Dem Caroline Pidgeon - who I would not want to get on the wrong side of having seen her fearsome questioning - who suggested a better route would be to write to the Travelwatch board members and invite interest in the interim position.


This is true, but it was James Cleverly who seemed to be genuinely steaming that a Labour led committee had ousted a Boris supporter and were now about to promote one of their own. Caroline Pidgeon's contribution was rather more nuanced (and I agree she was about the toughest member of the committee).

I do think the Tories will need to try and deflect attention from what does seem to be a clear breach of the rules (the key point that clinched it for me is that Cooke didn't consult the Chief Executive before backing Boris). It's probably a good idea for the interim Chairman to be non-partisan, although that rather thins the candidates down a bit. It's only for a few months anyway.

Tory Troll

That is what was decided upon. They are going to write to the board of Travelwatch to see if anyone is interested in the interim position.


Bearing in mind the four years good service that was acknowledged by nearly all of the committee, I have to wonder if a stupid email, sent from home on a weekend (although he did mention in the email that he was Travelwatch chairman so I don't think anyone can dispute it crossed the boundaries on what could be considered "personal") is enough of a breach to warrant immediate dismissal.

That it was a breach seems beyond question but considering his exemplary track record, it seems to me it might have been a more proportionate response to rebuke him today and then take this episode into account when looking at his application for a second term due to start in September.

I'm also disappointed that after having sat through the proceedings, Jennie Jones couldn't form an opinion one way or t'other as to whether he should be sacked immediately and sat on her hands.

James Cleverly


I was steaming! Brian made a mistake, none of us contested that. The fact that the chair pushed for the most extreme sanction and then tried to replace him with a Labour councillor was unbelievable.

I think that anyone looking at this from outside will see it as some kind of witch-hunt. I would struggle to disagree with them.

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