That bastion of reliable and trustworthy news, the Sunday Express, says:
On Friday the mayor said Mr Lewis would be reinstated if he was cleared by an inquiry into the allegations led by former chief prisons inspector Martin Narey.
But last night City Hall sources said the inquiry would be dropped. A source said: “He wants to clear his name and we would like that to happen, but now he has resigned it is not appropriate to spend taxpayers’ money on an inquiry.”
Is this news? It is to me.
It was always debatable whether an inquiry into so recent an appointment by the Conservatives should have been publicly funded anyway, but this sounds like a convenient way to sweep the whole thing under the carpet and hope everyone moves on.
Indeed, it could also be suggested that it sounds like they’d lost their confidence in the inquiry coming out with a result they liked…
Update: as mentioned in the comments, George Osborne said on this morning’s Andrew Marr Show that the inquiry was still going ahead. The Tory Troll’s second comment here sets out several possible reasons why there appear to be different messages coming from different parts of the Conservative party.
In fact, it basically sounds like the Tories are in disarray – but don’t expect any right-leaning blog-dwellers to stand for it when the BBC allows the Labour party to point this out. (I forget where I was reading rabid “BBC left-wing conspiracy” comments yesterday when that story was high on their news agenda, so I can’t link back to them.)
UPDATE, 11.54 a.m.: A spokesman for the mayor has just confirmed that Martin Narey has indeed been “stood down.”
So we’ll never know which allegations were true and which weren’t. As I said originally, you have to wonder if they were unconfident about what would have been concluded by Mr. Narey.
Given that Boris had said he’d reappoint Lewis if the inquiry cleared him of wrongdoing, I think we can safely say he won’t be reappointed.
Update (From Ben): The inquiry has been dropped, and a protracted period of amnesia will commence immediately.
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