Amid the controversial Millwall Football Club land case, the Mayor of Lewisham has resigned as the trustee of Surrey Canal Sports Foundation.
His resignation comes after an independent inquiry was launched into the charity. Allegations have been made that it falsely claimed to have secured £2million of sport funding.
Sir Steve Bullock maintained that he always made a distinction between his trusteeship and his role as mayor of Lewisham. “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,” he said in a statement.
He added: “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.”
As a part of what has been called Energize, Surrey Canal Sports Foundation was planning to build a £40m sports facility under the New Bermondsey Scheme and it has been at the heart of the Millwall FC and New Bermondsey CPO controversy.
Last year in September Lewisham Council said that a compulsory purchase order should be made to secure land around Millwall’s stadium for the development, but the purchase order was suspended in January 2017.
An online petition calling for Sir Steve’s resignation as Mayor of Lewisham has been launched and has over 1,700 signatures.
The decision of the inquiry launched by the Lewisham council is awaited.