‘Ken’s lying aide quits’ – more trouble for the Mayor of London

First scalp for the Evening Standard‘s harrying of Ken Livingstone and associates over sleaze allegations, with another of his aides in trouble:

Ken Livingstone’s fightback against sleaze allegations has been damaged after one of his key advisers resigned after admitting she had lied.

Rosemary Emodi, deputy to Mr Livingstone’s race adviser Lee Jasper, quit her £100,000-a-year post after taking a free trip to a £200-a-night beach resort.

She went there with Errol Walters, director of two organisations linked to Mr Jasper which have received substantial amounts of City Hall cash.

The trip was apparently arranged after Mr Walters suggested the resort in Nigeria could receive City Hall funding to bring “youths of African descent from the UK” to “reconnect with their roots” in a youth camp, Kamp Afrika, which is backed by the Greater London Authority.

Last week, the Mayor’s office told journalists who found out about the trip that Ms Emodi had not been on it. “This story is totally inaccurate, false and invented,” said a City Hall spokesman.

“Rosemary Emodi has never visited Kamp Afrika in Nigeria. She was in London during the dates concerned.” As late as yesterday morning, Mr Livingstone himself dismissed the Nigeria trip as “completely and utterly nothing to do with us … I’m told she [Ms Emodi] wasn’t there.”

Yesterday afternoon, however, the BBC showed that air travel records revealed Ms Emodi had flown to Nigeria on the dates concerned. Ms Emodi immediately admitted she had lied and resigned.

You can read the rest of the story here.

All those press offficers don’t seem to be doing Ken Livingstone much good…

UPDATE: Ken Livingstone has defended himself on Comment is Free today. The defence is very interesting for what it doesn’t say. For example, whilst he defends himself against a range of other changes, there’s a whole host of allegations outstanding about financial misdeeds involving Lee Jasper and the London Development Agency which go unrebutted in his piece. Curious.

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