HC Deb 08 November 1973 vol 863 cc1167-9
03. Mr. Thomas Cox

asked the Prime Minister when he last met the Leader of the Greater London Council.

The Prime Minister

I have had no official meetings with the present Leader of the GLC.

Mr. Cox

Is the Prime Minister aware that that is a most disgraceful reply? Six months after the GLC elections, he has still not met the elected Leader of the Greater London Council. Is he not aware that many of the essential services of London—housing, education, transport and key social services—are grinding to a halt as a direct result of the Government's policy? If he is still a London Member, when will he meet the Leader of the GLC and give confidence to the people of London to overcome these problems?

The Prime Minister

If the Leader of the GLC stopped posturing on Westminster Bridge and did his proper job, all of us in London would be the better for it.

Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg

Will my right hon. Friend tell the Leader of the GLC, if he makes a request to meet him, that he would be better employed staying at County Hall rather than leading fake political demonstrations without even bothering to use green cards to notify London Members of Parliament?

The Prime Minister

I do not believe that he sent me a green card. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, who has primary responsibility for many of the services concerned with the GLC, has met the Leader of the GLC, together with leaders of other great cities, and he can deal with these matters.

Mr. Raphael Tuck

Since when is walking across a bridge to be construed as posturing? Does the Prime Minister accept that he postures every day outside No. 10 Downing Street?

The Prime Minister

The answer is, when one behaves like the present Leader of the GLC.

Mr. Berry

When my right hon. Friend has such a meeting, will he impress upon the Leader of the GLC his extreme disappointment that the Chairman of the Inner London Education Authority has cancelled this year's Christmas carol service for children in London? Will he tell him that watching a television programme, however trendy, is no substitute for boys and girls taking part in singing Christmas carols?

The Prime Minister

I recognise the strong feeling which exists in many quarters, including the schools, about this matter. It is difficult for me to give an answer because I might be doubly biased—first, because I am interested in carol concerts and, secondly, because I twice defeated the present leader of the ILEA.

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