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Kate Hoey takes new City Hall sport job

Vauxhall Labour MP Kate Hoey is to serve as unpaid commissioner for sport in the City Hall administration of Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson, it was confirmed on Thursday.

Kate Hoey

The confirmation of the Vauxhall MP's appointment follows weeks of controversy amongst Labour MPs and activists furious that Ms Hoey's decision to serve in Boris Johnson's administration was made public during the closely-fought campaign between Labour's Ken Livingstone and Tory Boris Johnson.

Ms Hoey – who is a former sports minister – will have an office at City Hall. Her brief will be to increase grass roots sport participation and access to sporting opportunities across London.

She will be working closely with the London Development Agency on the London Legacy Plan for Sport.

"Londoners deserve the best sporting facilities possible and opportunities for all to participate," says Kate Hoey.

"I am particularly keen to see that the power of sport be used to change the lives of our young people. Sport crosses all political divides and I happy to play my part."

Boris Johnson said: "I am absolutely delighted to be able to announce that Kate is going to be helping me to rebuild sport provision in London.

"She made it perfectly clear that she cares deeply about providing young people in London with access to good sports facilities."

Ms Hoey was last year reselected by the Vauxhall Constituency Labour Party as their candidate at the next general election, although there are now calls from some quarters for her deselection.

Lee Jasper and even Ken Livingstone have been touted as possible Labour candidates for the Vauxhall constituency, which includes Waterloo, should Ms Hoey be ousted.

Letter to members of Vauxhall Labour Party

In a letter to members of her local Labour Party, leaked to blogger Iain Dale, Ms Hoey says: "I will not, of course, be involved with any other aspect of the Mayor's administration and nor would I ever want to be. I do see substantial benefits for this and neighbouring constituencies and am confident that I can make a difference in this unpaid role. "

She went on to apologise to party members for the way that the news was released:
"On a personal note, I would add that I am all too aware of how this news first came out and how upset some of you were and are. It is a matter of deep regret to me. I share your sorrow at the loss of the Mayoralty."

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