As regular readers of these pages will know, there are many things I will gladly argue with Councillor John Hemming about. Not surprisingly really, because he is wrong about so many things. However... on the issue of the Standards Board, I agree with him almost 100%.
Yes, there are instances of councillors ‘bullying’ officers…and there are instances of councillors showing ‘a lack of respect’ for colleagues and others. But it cannot be right that (with as much respect as I can muster) a team of faceless bureaucrats can have the right to overturn the democratic wishes of the electorate and dismiss or suspend a politician. I do believe there should be rules governing issues relating to corruption or other illegal practices, but I can think of no greater act which would bring the post of Mayor of London, or the Standards Board of England and Wales into disrepute, than for these people to take action against Ken Livingstone.