Mayor Boris Johnson has taken to quipping that – as a sign of Conservative economy – he has cut the number of Deputy Mayors from six to three since taking office. This neatly glosses over some inconvenient facts: first, that one of the first acts of Mayor Johnson was to INCREASE the number of Deputy Mayors (adding five personal appointees to the statutory position held by Richard Barnes AM, who was given the substantive position of being responsible for opening garden fetes and the like); and second, that three of those appointees have had to resign in somewhat embarrassing circumstances.
However, how many of his diminished top team will still be there by this time next year? Rumour has it that the answer is “not many”.
James Cleverly AM, the amiable Assembly Member for Bexley and Bromley, clearly has his eye on the Parliamentary seat of Beckenham that is about to be vacated by Jacqui Lait – look at the picture on his blog post).
Likewise, the UVCDMKMAM, Kit Malthouse AM, is – I am reliably informed – letting it be known that he is available for a Parliamentary seat.
And the by-now-indispensible Deputy Mayor and Chief of Staff, Sir Simon Milton, is widely tipped to be made a Life Peer by David Cameron and appointed as a Minister in the Lords, in the obviously inconceivable circumstance of a Tory election win next year.
So who will that leave to mind the shop for Mayor Johnson?
Step forward that safe pair of hands Brian Coleman AM ….. your time will come!