Boris Johnson has told lies about the Shepherd's Bush Market scheme. A strong statement but the below document proves it in black and white. The Mayor of London said, in this letter on February 29th 2012, that he was "..content to allow Hammersmith & Fulham Council to determine the case itself". He did not want anything to more to do with it.
Yet just a week later on 8th March 2012 the Mayor feigned ignorance at his People's Question Time in Hammersmith (watch above) when confronted by the shop keepers who are set to lose their properties under the scheme. The Council points out that they will be re-homed. But conveniently doesn't add that this means the loss not only of the Victorian buildings but also of their status as freeholders - they will forcibly become rent-paying tenants of Orion the property developers.
Speaking to local media just one day later the Mayor said that he would act to "protect" the shop-owners of the Goldhawk Road and would look into the matter. As he said those words we now know that he himself knew he had already signed the papers allowing the scheme to go ahead in its entirety.
And only yesterday, after Labour candidate Ken Livingstone suggested to me there may be criminal investigations into the relationship between our Council and property developers, which prompted an equally robust response on this blog by Cllr Harry Phibbs, the centrality of the fate of our Market to votes in the Bush was underlined once again.
Here's the damning evidence, which the Council will of course thank me for publishing in the interests of transparency: (press first button on left 'view in fullscreen' to see it properly)
12 APRIL UPDATE - Well, after tweeting constantly for the past few days since this post appeared the Chronicle finally got what it said was going to be a definitive statement from Boris on this story. Anticlimax is the best way of describing it - he said nothing new:
"Boris has worked hard to protect the traders at Shepherd’s Bush Market, ensuring the market will stay open during all phases of construction.
"He successfully negotiated with the developer and the council, securing a three year rent freeze for traders, as well as the creation of a £500,000 disturbance fund for the traders to cover loss of trade and relocation expenses during construction.
"And he will continue monitoring the situation to make sure the traders at Shepard’s (sic) Bush Market are protected."The Chronicle present this as being an answer from Boris - but the eagle eyed among you will notice he is talking about the "traders" - and specifically not the shop owners of the Goldhawk Road that this article is actually about. So here we have a local newspaper whose journalists seem to admire Boris Johnson, only ditching pics of themselves with him on their official twitter feeds after being criticised here, presenting an "answer" from the great man that, well, isn't.
For an actual local perspective let's turn to the owners of Cooke's Pie & Mash who had this to report this evening:
But you probably won't read about that in the local press.