News

Sadiq Khan’s £120,000-a-year night tsar Amy Lamé claims she is worth the money because it’s a ‘really big job’ in interview blaming previous administration from eight years ago for ‘absolute mess’


Sadiq Khan‘s controversial night tsar Amy Lamé has claimed she is worth her whopping £120,000-a-year salary because it’s a ‘really big job’.

The globe-trotting ‘night tsar’ tried to defend her jet-setting lifestyle which has included luxury trips to Australia, Italy and Spain all while London‘s nightlife continues to flounder.

These fresh questions come after City Hall insisted just last week the trips were essential to ‘share best practice, learn from other cities and build partnerships’.

But industry experts and the Conservative party have questioned whether she is providing value for money as startling figures showed the capital is falling behind cities such as Liverpool and Birmingham

In the BBC London interview, Ms Lamé who is in charge of rejuvenating night culture in the city, blamed the previous Mayor of London Boris Johnson for the struggling nighttime economy which has failed to bounce back following the pandemic. 

The globe-trotting 'night tsar' tried to defend her j et-setting lifestyle which has included luxury trips to Australia, Italy and Spain all while London 's nightlife continues to flounder

The globe-trotting ‘night tsar’ tried to defend her j et-setting lifestyle which has included luxury trips to Australia, Italy and Spain all while London ‘s nightlife continues to flounder

Sadiq Khan's controversial night tsar Amy Lamé has claimed she is worth her whopping £120,000-a-year salary because it's a 'really big job'

Sadiq Khan’s controversial night tsar Amy Lamé has claimed she is worth her whopping £120,000-a-year salary because it’s a ‘really big job’

Sadiq Khan has faced continued criticism over his decision to appoint the former stand-up comedian to the £120,000-a-year role

Sadiq Khan has faced continued criticism over his decision to appoint the former stand-up comedian to the £120,000-a-year role

She said: ‘I have to say, we inherited an absolute mess from the previous Mayor, we have lost a total of 35 per cent of our live grassroots music venues, 50 per cent of our nightclubs and a whopping 62 per cent of our LGBTQ+ venues under the previous Mayor.  

‘So we’ve had to pick up that mess and the Mayor and I have been focused on stemming those closures and helping venues to not just survive but thrive.

Ms Lamé, who is also a DJ on BBC Radio 6, explained that she was appointed in 2016 ‘to help London thrive as a 24 hour city.’

She continued: ‘That means that I’m able to work with all 32 local authorities to help plan better for our nighttime.

‘One way is through better planning, just this week for example, Camden Council passed their nighttime strategy which was a really exciting moment. 

The ‘night tsar’ claimed that footfall, spending and feelings of safety had gone up.

‘I’m also super proud – especially this weekend, we’re all thinking of Sarah Everard and her family and friends – of the work that the Mayor and I have done around women’s safety with our women’s safety charter 2100 organisations and businesses across the capital are signed up pledging to make our city safer at night for girls. 

During the interview, Ms Lamé blamed the previous Mayor of London Boris Johnson for the struggling nighttime economy

During the interview, Ms Lamé blamed the previous Mayor of London Boris Johnson for the struggling nighttime economy

New figures revealed that London's nighttime economy has been overtaken by Liverpool and Birmingham

New figures revealed that London’s nighttime economy has been overtaken by Liverpool and Birmingham 

Ms Lamé, who is also a DJ on BBC Radio 6, explained that she was appointed in 2016 to help London's nightlife thrive

Ms Lamé, who is also a DJ on BBC Radio 6, explained that she was appointed in 2016 to help London’s nightlife thrive

During the interview, the former stand-up comedian criticised the previous mayor, Boris Johnson who was in power more than eight years ago

During the interview, the former stand-up comedian criticised the previous mayor, Boris Johnson who was in power more than eight years ago

‘That includes everything from 24/hr gyms to nightclubs through to the seven Premier League football clubs that are in London.’ she said.

Claims of improved safety in the capital city for women at night contradict recent revelations from high profile stars.

Broadcaster Kate McCann recently revealed her experience of being spiked in a central London bar on her Sunday Morning politics show.

But Ms Lamé insisted that while she wasn’t able to enforce any policies, she believed her role was making a difference.

‘I think it’s important that I have really good relationships with the boroughs so our powers really depend on partnership working ad that’s the most powerful thing we have here in London.’ she said.

‘We have a team of just four people and a pretty small budget in the culture and creative industries team. But what’s most important is that we really over deliver from the money we have. The Assembly are able to scrutinise me and so we operate in full transparency.’

When questioned about her annual salary of £117,000, Ms Lamé said: ‘It’s a really big job.

The 'night tzar' has travelled to Sydney, Bologna and Madrid in the space of 12 months between 2022 and 2023 to form relationships with industry leaders

The ‘night tzar’ has travelled to Sydney, Bologna and Madrid in the space of 12 months between 2022 and 2023 to form relationships with industry leaders 

Michael Knill, the CEO of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) questioned whether Ms Lamé was 'signposting and virtue signalling' and asked whether she would deliver any 'tangible change'

Michael Knill, the CEO of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) questioned whether Ms Lamé was ‘signposting and virtue signalling’ and asked whether she would deliver any ‘tangible change’

‘We’re a city of 9 1/2 million people. I can point to the successes. All of this is going to change the way London operates at night. We are truly a 24/hr city. 

‘We’ve got 1.3 million people who work in London at night doing really important jobs like working for the NHS, driving our buses, stacking our shelves so we can live our lives during the day. I think it’s important we recognise that.’

But many have criticised Sadiq Khan’s decision to fund the American-born DJ’s position after figures from Square-Up, a firm which processes payments for businesses, said that in terms of the sheer number of transactions Liverpool and Birmingham have now overtaken London.

One survey found that 1,165 venues have closed in London since pandemic, and the head of one industry body says that while all cities in Britain are facing issues, Ms Lamé has to answer for London’s poor performance.

Michael Knill, the CEO of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), told The Times that he believes that while the ‘night tsar’ has to oversee all 32 boroughs of London – a job that is far greater than others in her position elsewhere – there are still questions that need answering.

He said: ‘There is a big difference between signposting and virtue signalling and driving tangible change. We see a lot of announcements but not so many results.’

He claimed ‘the industry feels there hasn’t been a strong enough voice for us’ and that while there have been worthwhile initiatives such as the women’s night safety charter, more is needed.

Although most of Ms Lamé’s trips abroad – which saw her travel to Sydney, Bologna and Madrid in the space of 12 months in 2022 and 2023 – were not paid for by the taxpayer and were instead funded through private donations.

But there have been costs for the taxpayer. According to her expenses, for a trip to Berlin, she claimed for flights and accommodation.



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button