Lewisham’s mayor has resigned from his post at Surrey Canal Sports Foundation, leaving the future of the controversial New Bermondsey scheme more uncertain than ever.
Steve Bullock announced his resignation as a trustee on Friday – just over a week after Southwark Council leader Peter John also resigned from the sports foundation.
His resignation came after Lewisham pledged to conduct an independent external inquiry into SCSF after performing a dramatic U-turn on plans to compulsory purchase Millwall FC land.
The U-turn followed allegations that the charity falsely claimed to have secured £2million of Sport England funding.
“As you know, I have always sought to make a clear distinction between my trusteeship of SCSF and my role as elected mayor of Lewisham,” the mayor said on Friday.
“I was happy to take on my trusteeship because I believed and still continue to believe the Energize project can deliver enormous benefits to the people of the borough but given the amount of recent media reporting, and inaccurate comments I understand to be circulating on social media, it has become clear to me that my continued involvement with SCSF is not helping either the borough or the foundation.
“It is also creating unnecessary confusion at a time when I need to concentrate my efforts on the many challenges facing the borough today, not least the continuing impact of Government austerity programmes.
“I have therefore decided that I should tender my resignation as a trustee with immediate effect.”
Details of what Lewisham’s inquiry will cover and its scope are expected to be decided at a full council meeting on February 22.
It is not yet known who will head up or be involved in the inquiry, or when it will begin.
Once the investigation is complete, the outcome will be reported to full council and made public.