£43M - who should have stopped this waste of public money?
Accompanying the decision to cravenly give £5m to the Garden Bridge Trust (to pay off those "philanthropists" who had given this unicorn project wings by investing in it, but were now threatening to sue the GBT if they didn't get their millions back!) TfL dumped 500 pages of information, in the hope, presumably, of obscuring everything by a wilderness of mirrors.
Could TfL have witheld this £5m because the GBT had behaved recklessly in signing a £100m construction contract for a bridge without having the land to build it on, the funds to build it, or an implementable planning permission? This was all done in a hurry in spring 2016 because Boris was about to go and they wanted to tie the hands of his successor.
Buried in the papers is the revelation that the legal advice TfL received was no, TfL couldn't withold payment... because TfL had overseen/approved the GBT signing the construction contract at the time - a decision taken by Mike Brown, TfL Commissioner, on the basis of a greenlighting report by Richard De Cani, who was about to join Arup, which stood to make £8m and more out of the project... Why hadn't De Cani been put on gardening leave with this very clear conflict of interest? Mike Brown declared confidence in De Cani, and the rest is history, and BACs payments.
Whatever happened to Mike Brown? Well, he remained pugnaciously bullish about the Bullshit Bridge until Sadiq finally pulled the plug. But he still remains Commissioner at TfL, responsible for a £1bn hole in the TfL budget, because of... another project whose costs have spiralled out of control.
Why exactly is this man paid £438,000? Why on earth does Sadiq continue to have confidence in him?