The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has nominated one of Britain’s leading gay local politicians as his new Deputy Mayor. Two of his five deputies are gay.
Sir Simon Milton, the head of the Local Government Association (LGA) will replace Ray Lewis who steped down amid allegations over his private life and claims relating to his time as a vicar and while running an academy for young people.
Sir Simon will oversea planning and policy and will step down as LGA chairman and a Westminster councillor. He was ranked as the 40th most powerfull LGBT politicians by PinkNews.co.uk. He joins Richard Barnes, who was ranked as the 41st and three others as Deputy Mayor.
He said: “I believe that I can make a significant contribution to making Londoners’ lives better and making Boris Johnson’s Mayoralty a success.”
“What’s a nice guy like Simon doing in a set-up like that?” Labour’s leader on the LGA, Sir Jeremy Beecham said to the Press Association.
“The saga of the new Mayor’s first few weeks in office has seen a succession of blunders, culminating in a decision to upgrade Simon from an unpaid adviser to deputy mayor only a fortnight after he was re-elected as LGA chair, a position he now has to relinquish, ” he added.
Sir Simon and his partner Robert Davis, 49, a former mayor of Westminster and current cabinet member for planning held a civil partnership a year ago.
His appointment as Deputy Mayor for Policy and Planning will be subject to the appropriate procedures, with an interview panel chaired by Greater London Authority Chief Executive Anthony Mayer, which will include an independent element and a confirmation hearing, if required, by the London Assembly.
Mr Lewis denies the allegations made against him and has never been charged with any criminal offence.