Boris's deputy resigns over credit card

One of Boris Johnson's mayoral deputies resigned yesterday over his misuse of a corporate credit card.

Ian Clement, deputy mayor for government and external relations, was reprimanded earlier this month for using the card to buy personal items in breach of Greater London Authority (GLA) regulations.

He is the third deputy mayor to leave Mr Johnson's administration since his election in May last year, following youth leader Ray Lewis and transport chief Tim Parker.

An initial investigation found that Mr Clement, the former leader of Bexley Council, had repaid the money and had made no personal gain. But further "discrepancies" were discovered in the use of the card and he stood down, City Hall said. In a letter to his former deputy Mr Johnson wrote: "I was extremely angry at the liberties you took with your corporate credit card, but last week I made the essential distinction between behaviour that is crass and anything that amounts to dishonesty or deception. In the light of the further discrepancies in your expenses that have emerged this morning, it is clear to both of us that your position is untenable."

The deputy mayor's card was confiscated after he allegedly used it to upgrade himself and a colleague to business class on a flight to the Beijing Olympics, to pay for meals including a £700 dinner in New York and to buy more than £200 of groceries and a £535.49 audio system for his Jaguar, which he then repaid.

The Mayor's Office would not give details of the fresh allegations against Mr Clement, who was paid £127,000 a year. But it is thought that a GLA investigation into his use of the credit card raised questions over occasions when it had been used on purportedly official business, such as lunches with MPs and councillors.

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