EU gag order was a cock-up, says mayor
March 09 2016 12:41 AM
Prashanth
Boris Johnson: ‘Nobody has been gagged’

London Evening Standard/London


Boris Johnson yesterday overturned a memo instructing his senior City Hall team not to speak out against Brexit, describing it as a “cock-up”.
He withdrew official advice that warned aides to “either advocate the mayor’s position or otherwise not openly contradict it”. The e-mail from his chief of staff Sir Edward Lister, sent last Friday, had prompted accusations of hypocrisy as it came just 24 hours before he accused pro-EU campaigners of trying to gag opponents.
Deputy mayor for policing Stephen Greenhalgh has already spoken out in favour of staying in the EU, and the Standard understands that Sir Edward plans to vote to stay, although he has not stated his position publicly.
Yesterday Johnson said the memo was “a cock-up and not something I agree with”, and he was in favour of allowing “a hundred flowers to bloom”. He added: “Nobody has been gagged, I was only made aware of this edict very late on Sunday night and it ceased to be operative as soon as I was. It obviously hasn’t been operative because my advisory team take a very different view from me.”
Len Duvall, Labour leader on the London Assembly, called the mayor’s move “possibly the quickest U-turn in history”.
Greenhalgh has taken issue with Johnson’s claim that Britain would be safer outside the EU, stressing the benefits of the European Arrest Warrant and intelligence sharing with EU partners.
Yesterday he added: “I feel strongly that the right decision is for us to remain in. I’ll certainly continue to do my job in City Hall and make my views known in a personal capacity when I think it’s important to do so.”
Ministers have been told they are free to campaign for either side but supporters of the Leave campaign are banned from using Whitehall resources to help  them as the government’s official position is to back staying in the EU.



There are no comments.

LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
MORE NEWS

HAPPENING IN DOHAMore