Former deputy mayor Ray Lewis in new City Hall role

Ray Lewis on his return to City Hall role

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Former London deputy mayor Ray Lewis has been given a new City Hall role, two years after he resigned amid claims of financial irregularities.

London mayor Boris Johnson has recruited Mr Lewis to help stop young men from troubled backgrounds being drawn into gang violence.

The former mayor resigned as deputy mayor for youth in July 2008.

Mr Lewis will not be paid for his role, which is focused on creating role models in the black community.

He will work along side Richard Taylor, whose 10-year-old son Damilola Taylor was fatally stabbed in south London in 2000, and the Metropolitan Police's Black Police Association.

'Role model'

The team will aim to recruit 1,000 men as mentors for troubled youths.

"Targeted mentoring reintroduces strong positive male role models to young black men who desperately need father figures," said Mr Lewis.

"Mentors can teach boys about what being a man is all about.

"They don't need some criminal figurehead to look up to when they have an inspirational male role model guiding them."

In London, between 2007 and 2009 77% of youth murder victims were black.

Mr Johnson said: "I hope through the combined hard work of the Black Police Association, Ray Lewis, Richard Taylor, and my office, we will show them that there is a much better path to take."

An inquiry into Mr Lewis's finances was never held by City Hall after he resigned as deputy mayor.

Mr Johnson's office said it was inappropriate for taxpayers to fund an inquiry into a private individual who had already resigned.

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