A key aide to Sadiq Khan has blocked London Assembly members from directly interrogating the mayor's controversial new Night Tsar Amy Lame.
Khan handed the role to Lame in early November, but the appointment has been mired in disputes over her comments on social media, and the manner in which she was hired.
In particular, Lame's hosting of a fundraiser for Khan during his mayoralty campaign, and City Hall's decision to downgrade the role, separating it from a distinct position as chair of the night-time commission, have raised concerns.
Assembly members will grill members of Khan's team over the appointment this morning, but an attempt to put questions to Lame directly has now been stymied by Khan aide Fiona Twycross on the grounds that it would interrupt “vital work” analysing the impact of Brexit.
Conservative London Assembly member Shaun Bailey wrote to Twycross, the chair of the assembly's economy committee, earlier this month, to request Lame attend to address concerns over her appointment, and her plans to boost the capital's night-time economy.
However, City A.M. can reveal that Twycross, who Khan appointed as chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, has now blocked a hearing.
Writing to Bailey, Twycross said the committee could not interrupt “vital work” scrutinising the impact of Brexit on London.
“It would be more appropriate to undertake a broader consideration of the issues facing the night-time economy, including inviting Amy Lame to a meeting of the economy committee in due course,” Twycross said.
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Bailey described the decision to prevent assembly members quizzing Lame as “incredible”.
“As the holder of an important role that could be transformational for our city, it is only right she faces the same level of scrutiny anyone else would in the same position.
“The Labour group are running scared because they know they’ve had a disaster with her appointment. Londoners deserve to know the background to Ms Lame’s appointment and be reassured she is the right person for this role.”