CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Theo Blackwell quits Camden Council to be Sadiq Khan’s new tech guru

Labour councillor scores £107,000-a-year working with the Mayor of London

25 August, 2017

ONE of the best known councillors at the Town Hall has triggered yet another council by-election by standing down to become London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s new tech guru.

Theo Blackwell, known for a combative style which has earned both friends and enemies, will become the new £107,000-a-year ‘chief digital officer’ at City Hall, a role which does not allow him to continue in political office. The role was created by Mr Khan as part of a manifesto pledge at his election last year with the Mayor looking for City Hall, local authorities and London as a whole to tap into the digital transformation of services. He has emailed Labour colleagues in Camden informing them of his decision.

The switch brings an end to a 15-year stretch at the Town Hall, which has included several years as Camden’s finance chief.

Although the borough wide council elections are now only nine months away, there will still be a by-election to find a new councillor to replace him. That means the second by-election of the year for residents in Gospel Oak, where Cllr Blackwell’s Labour Party ward colleague Maeve McCormack stood down complaining she could no longer afford to stay in the borough. Marcus Boyland emphatically held the seat for Labour in the resulting poll.

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