Andrew Gilligan LDA investigation prompts police probe

Scotland Yard has launched an inquiry into the London Development Agency, following an investigation by reporter Andrew Gilligan writing in the Evening Standard.

Officers have raided the offices of the South London Green Badge Taxi School, which the Standard said was run by associates of London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s advisor Lee Jaspar. It has received £351,000 from the London Developmeent Agency.

Labour MP Kate Hoey complained to the police following articles in the Standard. She told the paper: “I am delighted the police have acted so promptly and I look forward to speedy results from their investigation.”

The Mayor of London’s office published a report on Friday refuting allegations made in the Standard.

It also said in a statement: “The report has been issued today of the review of allegations of LDA corruption and collusion in improperly awarding funds made by the journalist Andrew Gilligan in the Evening Standard in a series of articles in December 2007.

“The report finds these to be unfounded. The charge of a ‘tide of corruption’ made by London Assembly member Richard Barnes in the Evening Standard on 13 December is therefore also false.

“The Evening Standard had alleged that LDA contracts and funding were awarded to organisations because of their personal friendships with the Mayor’s advisor Lee Jasper or because of inappropriate interference by Mr Jasper. The review has found that this was not true.”

The statement responded to 11 allegations made by the Standard, but did not specifically mention the South London Green Badge Taxi School.

In Press Gazette this week Andrew Gilligan reveals the inside story of his London Development Agency investigation (Press Gazette is available to subscribers on Thursday and in newsagents on Friday).

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