CLEARED! Boris Johnson will face no disciplinary action over comments made about protesters fighting the Brent Cross development. A panel at the GLA has reported he didn’t break the rules. They were asked to look at the following transcript from his comments at the London Planning Awards on March 29, 2010:
In the last couple of weeks, I have green-lighted (mumble) nodded it through in spite of the fiercest opposition from local people, never mind (laughter from audience) I have nodded through (uhm) an enormous mixed use development at Southall gasworks, incredible plan, I have decided that we are goingto go ahead, I have agreed we are going to go ahead with the new town centre at Brent Cross, and I tell you cross isn’t the word for the people up there (more laughter from the audience) and it’s very, very exciting.
Alson Hopkins – “a member of public”, as she is identified in the GLA report – said the comments were “designed to denigrate” and showed “clear contempt and lack of respect for the people living in the Brent Cross area. Not so, found the investigators who said: “Some of the residents of Brent Cross being ‘cross’ was a matter of fact and not of itself disrespectful”. And the bods on the Assessment Sub-Committee reckoned “his comments were intended to be light-hearted”. That old excuse.
Case closed – but there are questions left outstanding. Look back on the transcript. Who the heck were all those people guffawing at Boris in stand-up mode? What were they actually laughing at? And are they belly-hiccuping out of amusement or nervousness? I can’t see the funny. It must be the way the great showman tells them.