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Greater London Authority

March 6, 2008

Question written on 06/03/2008

While I agree with the Leader of the House that matters that are subject to a police investigation should rightly be outside the scope of parliamentary debate, it is still a fact that the Government Office for London administers huge sums of public money to be given to grant-giving organisations and to the London Development Agency. Given the importance of this matter to all London constituents – including hers and mine – in the run-up to the election on 1 May, I believe that this is the right time to have a broad debate on the way in which the Greater London Authority operates and the way in which the mayoral advisers are appointed, how they operate, and how they can properly be scrutinised. I hope that the Leader of the House will consider this issue. She will have gathered from earlier questions that a number of Members feel extremely strongly about it.

Answered by Harriet Harman, Leader of the House of Commons

I think all London Members feel extremely strongly about those issues, and I have said that I will consider making London the subject of a topical debate. We are all pleased to know about the bigger investment in police in London and in agencies that provide London with important services across the board. I do not know about the hon. Gentleman’s constituency, but in mine, grants and other financial support have been provided for small voluntary organisations that do so much to keep communities together. I would like to pay tribute to the work put into building and supporting communities in London, particularly those in inner London.