Boris Johnson has said that he cannot recall why he signed a key directive as London mayor that contributed to the loss of more than £40m of public money on the city’s garden bridge. Facing increasing pressure over the abandoned project, Johnson, appearing before London Assembly members, answered detailed questions on the scheme for the first time on Thursday. Johnson offered some contentious reasons as to why the bridge was not built, and alleged that a journalist who had won awards for uncovering problems with the project was motivated by personal dislike of its designer. The evidence session for the foreign secretary, whose mayoral term ended in May 2016, came a day after a leading lawyer said Johnson could be investigated for misconduct in public office if it is shown political pressure from him contributed to the scale of the garden bridge losses. The planned tree-filled pedestrian link from Temple to the South Bank was scrapped in August 2017 because of a shortfall in funds raised by the charity behind it and a lack of final planning consent despite three years of talks. The public liabilities, initially capped at £16m, escalated by 2016 when Transport for London and the Department… Read full this story
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