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10 July 2008

Boris Does the Right Thing

The new mayor of London should be congratulated for embracing the "living wage".

By Martin Bright

Since becoming a high-profle critic of Ken Livingstone (whatever did happen to him?) I’m sometimes asked what I make of Boris Johnson.

It’s a bit early to tell, but the Ray Lewis saga suggests that the new Mayor should have reformed the processes in City Hall before appointing his advisors. A proper confirmation hearing in front of the London Assembly would have flushed out some questions about Lewis’s past. These could have been dealt with at an early stage and Boris could have taken the credit for improving making the institution of London mayor more democratically accountable.

But the announcement that he is to commit the “living wage” is a brilliant stroke. This is the brainchild of London Citizens, an inspiring group of grassroots activists (the asylum amnesty is another of their ideas). Whoever would have imagined that BoJo would outflank Gordon Brown on the left.

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