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But Colin Barrow says it is nothing to do with his failed plans to start charging for West end parking in the evening and at weekends.
A lot of businesses and shoppers were against the idea, which has now been shelved until after the Olympics.
Councillor Barrow has announced he will stand down as leader of Westminster Council in March but said it would be "too easy" to blame it on the parking row - insisting it has nothing to do with it.
Colin said: "I made the decision in the middle of last year to step down when I reached 60, to devote some time to writing and lecturing.
"2012 marks both my 60th year and four years as Leader of the Council, so it is the right time to make way for a successor."