I’m genuinely disappointed that Boris Johnson’s appointment of Ray Lewis as Deputy Mayor didn’t work out. From the little I knew, it seemed he was to be commended for his work with disaffected black youth; this week’s revelations don’t necessarily negate that either. He could have been a great role model, if he’d been all he seemed, and a breath of fresh air. But it now appears that Boris didn’t know enough about him either – and perhaps was in rather too much of a rush to appoint him to office.
This calls to mind a story I was told this week, about a recent visit by a Tory MP to the Vassall Centre in Fishponds. He was lobbied pretty hard by a guy in a wheelchair, who is involved in running the Centre and is on the board of the Spinal Injuries Association. He wanted to know what the Conservative policies were on issues affecting people with disabilities.
The MP was clearly impressed, and told him: ‘You’re exactly the sort of person we need in the Conservative Party; here’s my card’. I am pleased to report that Kelvin Blake, ex-Labour councillor and the guy who ran my 2005 election campaign, who came off his motorbike in 2006 and severed his spinal cord, hasn’t taken him up on his offer!