Garden Bridge chair's unconvincing response to the Hodge review
The chairman of the Garden Bridge Trust, Lord Davies of Abersoch, has written a bitterly misleading press release in response to being busted by the Hodge Review of the Garden Bridge. He also took the opportunity to slam the report in an open letter in The Times last week, a paper that is owned and controlled by the Murdoch empire which donated £5m (from Sky), to the private garden bridge development. (Check out the comments underneath his letter).
Davies' letter is just desperate. It smells of nit-picking - he doesn't cover many of the issues. And he attempts to pull rank in the most obvious bullying fashion: his lecturing of Hodge - five years as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee - about 'value for money' methodology is laughable.
World famous author Anthony Horowitz responded to Davies' indignant puffery by denouncing him in a strong letter to The Times (pictured).
Meanwhile, Davies also fumed his way onto Radio Four's airwaves on the Today programme which is now edited by his chum from the Evening Standard Sarah Sands, a champion of the Garden Bridge who wasted no time in abusing her editorial position by giving Davies a platform on BBC Radio's flagship morning programme.
But Davies' performance was pretty hapless; more importantly, interviewer John Humphrys was very confident in his questioning, based upon Hodge's report, that the case against the Garden Bridge was overwhelming, and wasn't fooled by Davies' bluster.
In the meantime, architect firm Marks Barfield finally broken their silence about the rigged procurement. Julia Barfield expressed shock at the "sham competition" and that they "were clearly there to make up the numbers."
And TCOS chair Michael Ball made a call for Sadiq Khan to scrap the "chocolate teapot" that is the Garden Bridge. He singled out former TfL Commissioner Peter Hendy for criticism:
" His job is to advise and guide the mayor. We didn’t pay him £650,000 a year to be a footstool. Boris’ job was to come up with chocolate teapot ideas and his commissioner’s role is to say ‘hang on a minute."
There is still an opportunity to tell London mayor Sadiq Khan, to withdraw his support for this toxic project that requires him to sign a guarantee handcuffing the public to a lifetime of debt for ongoing maintenance costs for the bridge i.e. over £3m a year. Tell the mayor to take the Hodge review that HE commissioned into account and to cut his/our losses and to walk away from the project. Write to him here: firstname.lastname@example.org