FRONT PAGE: Johnson set to slash City Hall comms jobs

Newly elected mayor of London Boris Johnson is to go ahead with job cuts despite reassuring 700 Greater London Authority (GLA) staff on Tuesday that he wanted them to stay.

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Sources close to Johnson said he would axe one fifth of the GLA's 70 marketing and PR roles over the next few months.

At the start of his campaign Johnson famously pledged to ‘get rid of some of the 173 spin doctors and PR people who are listening in to every word... so they can distort it'.

‘The changes will happen but he doesn't want uncertainty [so he didn't mention cuts during the meeting],' said Ed Staite, a key member of Johnson's election campaign team, now seconded from Tory HQ press office to oversee his transition to City Hall.

‘It was a manifesto commitment that he would red­uce the money spent on his publicity team.'
The marcoms job cuts are expected to come as part of an inquiry into GLA money spent on what Johnson calls ‘bureaucratic waste'.

Staite said it was too early to confirm exactly how many of the 70 marketing and publicity staff would be made redundant. He forms part of a ‘transition team' of 15 media handlers overseeing Johnson's first few days in City Hall. The new mayor is in the final stages of selecting a permanent press secretary.

-- Separately, Ken Livingstone's press manager Victoria Collins is looking for a job following the election loss.

Team Boris: arrivals
-- Ed Staite, interim media manager - Tory HQ PRO helping Johnson adjust to City Hall
-- Samantha Hart, chief press officer - head of the GLA press team
-- Dan Ritterband - rumours suggest the campaigner will end up as chief of staff

...and departures
-- Jo Tanner and Katie Perrior - the InHouse PR employees will stay until a press secretary is appointed
-- Lynton Crosby - the campaign mastermind is on his way back to Australia Enter your main article text here. You may paste from Word by using the 3rd icon in on the 2nd row.

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