Boris has just said that if he wins the election on May 1st, Kate Hoey will join his mayoral team as a non-executive director advising Boris on sport and the Olympics.
Hoey, Labour MP for Vauxhall and Chairman of the Countryside Alliance may face expulsion from the Labour Party as a result despite Gordon Brown's 'big tent' exercise of last summer. Kate Hoey has long been seen as a potential defector with centre-right views and a healthy dose of euro-scepticism. She served as Sports Minister, has worked for several football clubs and is a former Northern Ireland High Jump champion.
Boris said "I am delighted to announce that Kate Hoey will join me in my administration if I win on May 1. She and I agree that there is much more that can be done to promote sport and to develop sporting facilities across London. Kate has a huge and well-known commitment to sport and to London, and I am determined to bring talent from across politics and the community to a new administration.”
There has been speculation over the last few days if Hoey would defect following an event at which she was due to appear with Boris but pulled out last minute. When asked if she was supporting Boris for Mayor, she answered "I am a Labour MP, I am not endorsing anyone." Scant comfort for Ken then!
I see that she is the one of the most rebellious of all Labour MPs according to Public Whip and has made plenty of noise about councils closing swimming pools. It'll be interesting to see what she makes of the LibDems' handling of Cheam Baths when Lead Councillor Graham Tope contradicted himself in a single letter to the Guardian, starting the letter saying that there were no plans to close the pool but finishing off by calling for a rational debate about what to replace it with. All of this schizophrenic behaviour whilst the Council are ploughing £500,000 of our money into the pool with no future. No doubt they'll be trying to fill it up without putting the plug in next.