Brian Cooke and London TravelWatch

This morning I attended the Transport Committee of the London Assembly, we were meeting to decide the fate of Brian Cooke, Chairman of London TravelWatch.

Brian had made a statement in a personal capacity supporting Boris Johnson as Mayor. It was made clear that Brian had acted in breach of the guidelines, for which he had already apologised. It was clear that some form of sanction would be required but I was amazed when the Chair of the committee, Valerie Shawcross, indicated that she felt that the most extreme penalty should be used.

Instant dismissal is meant to be used only when the person has brought their position into public disrepute. The fact that there were only two emails of complaint between his statement and the election hardly indicates a widespread lack of confidence in him, let alone bringing his position into disrepute.

During the sitting members from across the political spectrum agreed that Brian had been a fair and effective chairman yet the Labour and Lib Dem members felt that they had to impose the most severe sections on him.The committee could have given him a written warning, asked for a formal apology or even made him step down with three month’s notice. The chose to fire him on the spot!

The Conservatives voted against this action but were outnumbered, the whole thing had the stench of a witch hunt about it.

Brian was got rid off for being political and as a punishment for supporting Boris. The unfairness of the situation was highlighted when the Labour Chair of the committee attempted to put a Labour councillor into Brian’s now vacant position.

I believe that London TravelWatch should not be filled and chaired by councillors, Labour or otherwise. If you care about transport in London and want a fair deal for passengers, I urge you to apply to join and make sure this body doesn’t lose credibility by becoming a Labour party front.

12 responses to “Brian Cooke and London TravelWatch

  1. Incredible. And yet the Left are the loudest breast-beaters when it comes to condemning historical witch-hunts such as Macarthyism. Oh, but that was a witch-hunt against Lefties, so that was very wrong, m’kay?So perhaps Shawcross & co wouldn’t object to us weeding out the Livingstone supporters among all the GLA bodies and associated organisations?

  2. Incredible. And yet the Left are the loudest breast-beaters when it comes to condemning historical witch-hunts such as Macarthyism. Oh, but that was a witch-hunt against Lefties, so that was very wrong, m’kay?So perhaps Shawcross & co wouldn’t object to us weeding out the Livingstone supporters among all the GLA bodies and associated organisations?

  3. Brian Cooke is one of the people you should be pleased to getting rid of. I do not believe LTW has done a good job of representing the travelling public in London despite many good people working for them.Cooke knew exactly what he was doing by endorsing a candidate for mayor in the week before the election and it is not for public officials to attempt to influence elections, whether they support your candidate or not.The fact that the Conservatives voted to keep him probably tells us all we need to know about how Boris and his team plan to run City Hall – as badly as Ken and his cronies. Now you are only going to look hypocritical when you start sacking more of Ken’s political supporters throughout City Hall.

  4. Brian Cooke is one of the people you should be pleased to getting rid of. I do not believe LTW has done a good job of representing the travelling public in London despite many good people working for them.Cooke knew exactly what he was doing by endorsing a candidate for mayor in the week before the election and it is not for public officials to attempt to influence elections, whether they support your candidate or not.The fact that the Conservatives voted to keep him probably tells us all we need to know about how Boris and his team plan to run City Hall – as badly as Ken and his cronies. Now you are only going to look hypocritical when you start sacking more of Ken’s political supporters throughout City Hall.

  5. Hold on to your hat Jimmy, the more of Livingstone’s useless Trot placemen that we get rid of the better City Hall will run, so get sacking boys.Of course if it runs better Jimmy will have nothing to moan on about.

  6. Hold on to your hat Jimmy, the more of Livingstone’s useless Trot placemen that we get rid of the better City Hall will run, so get sacking boys.Of course if it runs better Jimmy will have nothing to moan on about.

  7. Brian Cooke was wrong to make such a public statement but at the sametime they should have examined his record of fighting for passengers over the years and put that into the equation. Cooke has raised the profile of Travel Watch and been a good spokesman for improving public transport in London.

  8. Brian Cooke was wrong to make such a public statement but at the sametime they should have examined his record of fighting for passengers over the years and put that into the equation. Cooke has raised the profile of Travel Watch and been a good spokesman for improving public transport in London.

  9. Hmm, thing is Cooke was well aware that there was going to be a fuss if he make any intervention in the election.That’s why he dropped out from appearing alongside Boris at his Transport Manifesto Launch (after initially claiming he had no idea it was a press launch) when I asked how he could do so when heading a LA funded and non-political body.His eventual intervention was no careless mistake, it was a carefully times and deliberate action so for that reason it seems to me the price he paid was the right one.

  10. Hmm, thing is Cooke was well aware that there was going to be a fuss if he make any intervention in the election.That’s why he dropped out from appearing alongside Boris at his Transport Manifesto Launch (after initially claiming he had no idea it was a press launch) when I asked how he could do so when heading a LA funded and non-political body.His eventual intervention was no careless mistake, it was a carefully times and deliberate action so for that reason it seems to me the price he paid was the right one.

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