Ex-Boris aide in “cover up” claims over £2,100 expenses fiddle

A former aide to Boris Johnson, who has been forced to repay £2,100 in council expenses, faces new charges of a cover up after it emerged the inquiry into his conduct would be held in private.

Ian Clement, the fifth adviser lost by the Mayor in his first year in charge, claimed the money for stays that had already been paid for at the luxury Excelsior Hotel Ernst in Köln and Park Plaza County Hall – the headquarters of Mr Johnson’s Mayoral campaign.

Mr Clement, leader of Bexley Council from 2006 to 2008, further abused his council credit card to treat officials to £100 lunches, among them Tory colleague Joe Pollard – a member of the Audit Committee that will review his conduct. Cllr Pollard is resisting calls to recuse himself from the investigation.

The 44-year-old had been axed as an adviser to the Mayor in June after it emerged he had misused his City Hall credit card to entertain his 23-year-old mistress to the tune of more than £150.

Labour PPC for Bexleyheath and Crayford Howard Dawber said:

“The actions of Ian Clement have blown a hole in both local and London Conservatives’ claims of running transparent low-cost administrations. It’s clear that both at Bexley and the GLA Ian Clement used his work credit card to take out Conservative candidates, MPs and councillors for expensive meals.

“He not only ran up huge credit card bills but spent £7,000 attending training courses in the US. And the MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup [Derek Conway], suspended form the House and ejected from the Conservative party for paying his family thousands of pounds for no work is still picking up a full salary, expenses and second home allowance.”

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.