The Mayor has found a new way to avoid answering questions:
Graham Tope: How much has the MPS spent on hire cars in each financial year since 2000/01 to date? What additional costs have been incurred in each of these years for failure to return vehicles in time, damages and any other penalties?
Ken Livingstone: Your question does not directly relate to the exercise of Mayoral statutory functions. In accordance with my letter to the Chair of the Assembly of 5 December 2007, I therefore suggest that you refer your question to the relevant authority or agency.
This standard response is given to a number of written questions, however the MPS budget is the single largest component of Livingstone's precept. It is set by the Mayor and he spends a lot of time boasting about falling crime rates and new initiatives, so it is surprising that he classes it as 'not directly related to the exercise of Mayoral functions'.
There will be more question ducking as the election approaches.