Conservative mayor appoints Kit Malthouse as his deputy for business and enterprise as he promises to create 200,000 jobs
Boris Johnson has appointed Kit Malthouse as his deputy mayor for business and enterprise as part of a pledge to create jobs and growth in the capital during his second term as London mayor.
Johnson announced his decision to move Malthouse from his role as deputy mayor for policing as he unveiled the first tranche of appointments in his senior team, which includes five deputies with portfolios that reflect his key priorities.
The Conservative mayor has promised to deliver 200,000 jobs over the next four years – many of which he wants filled by young Londoners.
Malthouse will spearhead plans “to boost jobs in the capital, help create 250,000 new apprenticeships and continue to attract investment to the city”. Johnson believes 104,000 jobs will be created through housing programmes alone.
The mayor said he intended to use his clout to lobby the Treasury and Brussels to reduce regulation which he said was “strangling” businesses as part of his battle to help the capital recover from the recession.
Johnson said: “It has never been more vital to do everything we can to boost growth and get people into work. That is why I’m putting jobs and growth at the heart of my mayoralty – focusing our efforts on driving London’s economy forwards, out of the recession, investing in our infrastructure and securing Londoners’ futures.
“Kit Malthouse has an outstanding business pedigree, knows how to get results and has proved he can do so in the toughest economic conditions with policing in London. He will drive forward my plans to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the capital over the next four years, help create 250,000 new apprenticeships and ensure our capital’s small businesses, the engine room of our economy, are given the support they need to succeed as we invest £221m in our local high streets.”
Malthouse said he was “honoured” to be offered the new role. “With my experience as a small business owner, including through difficult economic times, I understand the pressures and frustrations involved in trying to create jobs and I am looking forward to bringing my first-hand knowledge to bear.”
Malthouse headed the now abolished Metropolitan Police Authority from January 2010 on Johnson’s behalf and in effect became the first elected police commissioner in the country when Johnson’s mayoralty assumed the role of head of the office for policing and crime in January.
Johnson has handed over the role of deputy mayor for policing to Stephen Greenhalgh, the Tory former leader of Hammersmith and Fulham borough council, who is well-known in local government and Conservative circles but represents a new face in the city hall administration and will be seen as a further sign that Johnson intends to tilt to the right in his second term.
Greenhalgh is seen as a town-hall trailblazer committed to a belief in giving people a “hand up, not a handout”, who has championed achieving value for money for local residents.
Greenhalgh announced his decision to quit as borough leader of Hammersmith at the end of last year, and is due to hand over the reins to his successor at the end of the month. Greenhalgh had said he intended to return to being a backbench councillor to focus on steering a community pilot scheme in White City, a deprived area of the borough.
Greenhalgh takes on the policing role in the runup to the Olympic and Paralympic Games and also faces a struggle to keep up police numbers in the longer term in the face of budget pressures.
Johnson’s new team also sees a promotion for Munira Mirza, formerly adviser on culture and youth, who becomes deputy mayor for education and culture – reflecting the fact that Johnson is keen to have strategic oversight of schools in his second term. Mirza will be responsible for delivering Johnson’s pledge to boost literacy as part of a range of projects to boost young people’s education and attainment, as well as focusing on plans for a supplementary schools programme and his Education Inquiry Panel, launched last November.
The Conservative mayor used his Daily Telegraph column on Monday to spell out his intention to investigate why young Londoners are “losing out” to foreign nationals in the jobs market.
Johnson has also pumped up the role of his former housing adviser, Richard Blakeway, by creating the new brief of deputy mayor for housing, land and property.
Announcing the decision, Johnson said the release of surplus public land inherited from the London Development Agency and Homes and Communities Agency to create “thousands of homes and jobs” would be key to his growth programme.
Blakeway will chair Homes for London – formerly the London Housing Board – to drive forward investment in housing and regeneration.
Sir Edward Lister, the former leader of Westminster council who has served as chief of staff and deputy mayor for planning, has also had his contract renewed, with a mission to cut council tax by at least 10% over four years.
As Johnson listed the first set of names in his top team, he waved goodbye to his director of external affairs, Guto Harri, who left to consider his future amid rumours that he has been approached by News International to take the job of director of communications.
Sam Lyon, a journalist who was press chief for Johnson’s re-election campaign, will cover the role in the interim.
Salary levels for the new appointees have yet to be revealed.
Johnson still needs to appoint a statutory deputy mayor – a post previously filled by the Conservative assembly member Richard Barnes, who was ousted from city hall alongside his fellow Tory member Brian Coleman in the London assembly elections last Thursday, which saw Labour become the biggest group in the assembly.
Johnson is also expected to keep on board his deputy mayor for transport, Isabel Dedring, which would bring the tally of deputy mayors to seven. However, Dedring’s future in Johnson’s administration has yet to be confirmed.