Boris wants infra post – PPPs beware?

In return for his help in the run-up to the UK general election in 2015, London Mayor Boris Johnson is reported by the Evening Standard newspaper to be targeting an infrastructure “super-post” in the cabinet in the event of a Conservative victory.

The role would be seen as due reward for Johnson’s delivery of the Olympic Games and Crossrail projects during his Mayoral tenure and would hand him responsibility for transport, business and housing – and a big chunk of government spending.

The outspoken Johnson held shadow posts in government (in arts in 2004 and higher education from 2005 to 2007) before taking over as Mayor of London from Ken Livingstone in May 2008. He has long been tipped for an eventual return to government – possibly as Conservative leader should the vacancy arise.

Some of our readers may recall Johnson’s description of the Tube Lines public-private partnership (PPP) as “an attempt at daylight robbery” in 2010. “In other countries this would be called looting, here it is called PPP,” he also said of the ill-fated project.

In the event of Johnson attaining the role he is said to covet, the UK’s PPP professionals will no doubt be hoping he does not see all PPP deals in the same light.