GLA's education voice

May 12, 2000

Whoever the political winners and losers of the Greater London Assembly elections may be, one winning profession is academia.

Five of the 25 members of the London Assembly have university links, excluding former National Union of Students president Trevor Phillips, the assembly's likely Labour leader.

Conservative Tony Arbour has been a senior lecturer in business strategy and organisation at Kingston University business school for 33 years and is leader of the Conservatives on Richmond council. One of only two former members of the Greater London Council in the assembly, he is particularly interested in the new police authority.

Elizabeth Howlett, Conservative member for Merton and Wandsworth, is a former international opera singer and professor of singing at the Royal College of Music, where she works under the name of Elizabeth Robson. She has been mayor of Wandsworth.

Another Wandsworth councillor, Samantha Heath, has lectured in design and construction management at the University of Greenwich since 1992. A former civil engineering contractor, she runs a management consulting business and is interested in the development of the construction industry in London. She was elected for Labour.

Until last September, Jenny Jones, who gained a place on the assembly through the Green Party list, was a contract archaeologist working for a number of universities in this country and the United States. She studied as a mature student at the Institute of Archaeology in London. She has since taken work in London as a financial controller.

Her fellow Green, Darren Johnson, who stood for mayor and is now likely to take up the environment brief, was a PhD student in European politics at Goldsmiths College. His main claim to fame was securing entry to the Aldershot army camp dressed as Ivan the Terrible.

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