I seem to have written rather a lot about Lee Jasper in the last few weeks – sorry – but the following historic event cannot go unrecorded. Tomorrow, at the Friends Meeting House in Euston, Ken Livingstone’s former race adviser will be appearing alongside a woman named Karen Chouhan. For the first time in public, Londoners will be able to re-live The Relationship Which Sunk A Mayoralty.
Until 4 March 2008, as far as the world knew, Mrs Chouhan was just a salt-of-the-earth diversity outreach consultant and professional “visionary” (as she described herself on her Companies House records). And if her companies did seem to receive an awful lot of money from City Hall, while not doing terribly much in return, that was surely just a tribute to her skills at cross-sector stakeholder engagement?
But on that fateful day, thanks to the year’s most embarrassing set of leaked emails, we learned that at the same time as Mr Jasper was signing the City Hall cheques to Mrs Chouhan’s companies, he was also proposing to “honey glaze” Mrs Chouhan, “whisk [her] away to a deserted island beach” and “let [her] cook slowly before a torrid and passionate embrace.”
She wasn’t Mrs Chouhan in those messages either – she was his “darling,” his “gorgeous, wonderful, sexy Kazzi,” – and he was the “General.” Mr Jasper didn’t declare this relationship, as City Hall rules required. Within four hours of the emails’ publication, he was unemployed, and Ken’s campaign to keep his own job was holed below the waterline, too.
I don’t mention this just to mock – though the temptation is irresistible – but because of the sheer brazenness of the people involved. Tomorrow is another part of Jasper’s renewed bid to make a comeback in public life. The Chouhan incident should remind us all why that is not a good idea.
PS: The event’s hosted by Simon Woolley of Operation Black Vote – Jasper’s representative on earth, defender of the great man in various radio and TV studios and himself a former director of two of the Jasper crony organisations, including one of Chouhan’s. Amazingly, Woolley has recently been made a £500-a-day commissioner of the government’s Equality and Human Rights Commission. I know the EHRC has suffered a lot of resignations recently, but really…