After a quiet summer, the Mount Pleasant saga re-opens with the surprising news that the Mayor, Boris Johnson, has issued an apology. The Islington Tribune exposed the story following Boris’ letter to local MP Emily Thornberry in which he apologised for getting his facts wrong in the LBC debate in June where he claimed the Royal Mail’s scheme would deliver thousands of new homes (the actual number is 681).
However, he remained unrepentant about his outspoken praise for the scheme. Despite his supposedly impartial position as sole planning authority, he claims that his statement suggesting the scheme represented ‘a beautiful design’ and would make ‘a wonderful place to live’ did not compromise his role.The MPA and Ms Thornberry continue to uphold our respective requests to Eric Pickles to take control of the Mount Pleasant scheme.
The fact that Boris has had to seek legal advice on this issue shows he is clearly on the back foot; or might it be the shifting political landscape over the summer. The heady prospect of national government and even national leadership must make the trivial machinations in the capital seem dull by comparison. Boris – we all know your eyes are on No10 – don’t let Mount Pleasant curse your journey or haunt you when you get there. In this neighbourhood – London’s great urban suburb – there are many votes to be won (and lost).