It’s becoming increasingly clear that when Andrew Gilligan sits to write a column, he removes the glasses displayed in his byline photograph and dons a pair of rose-tinted spectacles.

He can be an excellent journalist, but his self-proclaimed ‘war with Ken‘ seems to have led to something altogether more amicable with Boris. Though journalists are never going to be objective, a measure of consistency stops them from falling into this

“Of course Ray Lewis, the deputy mayor for young people, had to go. And let there be no doubt: this is a bad blow for Boris…..

It will now be open season on all [his] other appointees. Let us hope that none of them has ever had a parking ticket. “

Or, in the case of Ian Clement, wasted £10,000 while leader of Bexley council.

“The orgy of gloating on the Left may, however, be premature.”

Those Pravdaesque propagandists at the Express, the Telegraph and The Mail should take note.

“The Westminster village is giving Lewis, and Boris, a kicking. But if the immediate reaction from radio phone-ins is any guide at all, there could be a backlash in voter-land. Ordinary Londoners may see Lewis as a man trying to save young lives, brought down by petty enmities and long-ago mistakes.”

“That view may not survive if further and more serious particulars surface about Lewis. It’s certainly possible they could. But three days’ papers have been and gone; and so far we’ve heard nothing of any supposed sexual misbehaviour or child abuse. So far, Lewis has not been accused of anything specific that should necessarily have disqualified him from his job – if only he had been open about it.”

A good time, then, to cancel the investigation.

“Yet for a crusader, Lewis left himself absurdly open to attack. In politics, the kind of CV-embellishment you can get away with as a voluntary worker just won’t do. It was utterly stupid to face the cameras and bluff. Did he imagine journalists would not check what he said?”

Maybe he only reads the Standard (cheap words deserve cheap shots).

“Lewis might still be in place had City Hall found out about his past, pre-emptively made it public and perhaps given him a more armslength job. He, Boris, and the knife victims of London were let down by grossly inadequate staff work that failed to probe, failed to make Lewis understand the new world he was in and, worst of all, allowed Johnson to defend his deputy at a press conference without forensically examining his story to make sure it was true.”

It is generally expected that the employer is aware of the employment and credentials of the employee.

It may be true, of course, that Ray Lewis was hired purely on the basis of Nick Boles’s recommendation.

“As schools start issuing teachers with stabproof vests, Boris needs to get back to the story Londoners really care about, the blood on our streets. That, rather than this ” scandal”, is how he will be judged.

I agree, to an extent.

Knife crime is a very serious issue. Not only is it taking place with alarming frequency, but the public – not aided by media sensationalism – are increasingly worried. In this context, then, officials can’t afford to make such obvious errors and show such inept organisation.

It is that, not merely Lewis’s mistakes, that give this “scandal” seriousness.


I thought that mentioning this would be too frivolous, but it does show the frivolity of Gilligan rather better.

“…after rather more homework this time, he needs another policy, or person, who can recover that lost Ray of hope.”

Guto Harri must be kicking himself to death over that lost opportunity.

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