Boris Johnson was accused of plunging the London mayoralty into 'complete disarray' after his chief of staff resigned on Tuesday, becoming the third senior official to quit City Hall in three months.
Tim Parker, the former AA chief executive known as the 'prince of darkness' by unions for his job-cutting record, stepped down as first deputy mayor and chief executive of the Greater London Authority. He will continue to advise Mr Johnson on transport policy.
Johnson said the surprise resignation stemmed from his decision to continue as chairman of Transport for London rather than hand the role to Mr Parker next month as promised.
The 'highly political' nature of the decisions taken by the transport body meant there was “no substitute for me, as the directly elected mayor, being in charge”, he said.