Boris Johnson's key role in an emergency

Boris Johnson is to have a key role in London's emergency planning in the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games, it has been announced.

The London Mayor said: "We all hope for the best, but must plan for grim contingencies," as responsibility for pan-London resilience planning was moved to City Hall.

The Greater London Authority (GLA) is now responsible for risk assessments, business continuity, emergency planning and the role of maintaining public awareness in relation to arrangements for emergencies, as a Category 1 Responder under the Civil Contingencies Act.

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The changes follow months of talks with ministers to clarify the roles of vital agencies, following the government's decision to dismantle the Government Office for London, which included a London Resilience Team.

The Mayor now takes on key responsibilities for London's ability to respond to major disruptions, especially in the lead-up to the 2012 Games, working with the London Resilience Partnership and London Regional Resilience Forum.

Mr Johnson said: "These plans will ensure that London has strong and clear leadership in any crisis. They clarify the vital roles played by different agencies, but put the democratic government of London at the heart of the decision-making process."