Thursday 6 February 2020 5:03 pm

Sadiq Khan urged to end ‘culture of cronyism’

Sadiq Khan has been accused of presiding over a ‘culture of cronyism’ in City Hall after his night czar was paid an extra £1,000 for taking part in a drag act to mark the 2019 borough of culture celebration. 

The mayor gives £1.3m to the winner of London’s borough of culture which in 2019 was Waltham Forest. 

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The borough spent £70,000 of this money on a drag act called “Ducky Loves Fanny”, which paid £1,000 to night czar Amy Lame to host the event. 

Lame, who is paid a £75,000 salary, did not declare the payment in her register of interests at City Hall. 

Greg Hands, who chairs Shaun Bailey’s mayoral campaign, told LBC: “It’s part of a series of cronyism in City Hall where Sadiq Khan is giving contracts, in this case, via the London Borough of Waltham Forest, to people who are connected with him.” 

“[Lame] declares she is a member of the Labour Party. The way this operates leaves serious questions to be answered. It was an undeclared connection.” 

Shaun Bailey said: “While crime spirals out of control in London, Sadiq Khan’s appointed night time Czar has been taking advantage of her position to push city hall contracts to benefit her business interests.”

“This stinks of the worst kind of cronyism at a time when every available penny in city hall should be spent on hiring more police and stamping out London’s crime epidemic.”

He has called on Lame to resign and for Khan to explain how this was allowed to happen.

Hands added: “Sadiq Khan needs to come out and say that he wants to end this culture of cronyism at City Hall.” 

A spokesperson for the Greater London Authority said: “Waltham Forest council was solely responsible for choosing the organisations and groups it worked with as part of their London Borough of Culture programme. The council commissioned Duckie Ltd to put on the event ‘Duckie Loves Fanny’ in September.” 

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“Amy Lamé is not a director of Duckie Ltd and was independently employed by the company as a freelance performer for the event. Amy was paid via Amy Lamé Ltd, a private company that is noted on her register of interests.” 

Lame has agreed to make a donation to an LBTQ+ charity of £,1000 less the tax she paid.