Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mayor's Plan for More Staff Is 'Empire Building'; Ambassadors: Myleene Klass Joined Ken Livingstone in Mumbai Today to Boost Links between London and India. the Former Hear'Say Star, Who Has Left Three-Month-Old Daughter Ava for the First Time, Will Present a London Showcase Tonight Featuring Dancers from Musical Stomp

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mayor's Plan for More Staff Is 'Empire Building'; Ambassadors: Myleene Klass Joined Ken Livingstone in Mumbai Today to Boost Links between London and India. the Former Hear'Say Star, Who Has Left Three-Month-Old Daughter Ava for the First Time, Will Present a London Showcase Tonight Featuring Dancers from Musical Stomp

Article excerpt

Byline: PIPPA CRERAR

KEN LIVINGSTONE was accused of "empire building" today after it emergedhe was planning to recruit 14 more staff in the run-up to the Mayoralelections.

Crucially, three of the extra employeeswho will be paid [pounds sterling]700,000 between themwould be working as spin doctors in the Mayor's media department.

The Mayor's rapid expansion of his team has led to overcrowding in the officesat City Hall, which was originally designed for 400 people but now houses manymore.

In April 2001, a year into his first term as Mayor, Mr Livingstone had fivepress officers in his own office and 15 in the media and marketing department.However, by September this year, he had recruited 16 media advisers in his ownoffice and 70 in the press office at City Hall.

Tory mayoral candidate Boris Johnson criticised the Mayor's plan for more staffand said: "This is yet more empire building from the current Mayor. He'salready having to cut desks in half to squeeze them all in. …

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