Boris Johnson urges against ‘vilifying bankers’

15:52 19 November 2012

Boris Johnson has given the green light for billionaires to sue in London : File picture: PA Wire

Boris Johnson has given the green light for billionaires to sue in London : File picture: PA Wire

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Boris Johnson today reiterated his calls for a third runway to be ruled out at Heathrow Airport.

The London Mayor also found time in a speech to the CBI conference to make an appeal for billionaires’ wives to sue for divorce in the capital.

He insisted the capital was the perfect place for “injured spouses” to take their wealthy other halves “to the cleaners”.

Mr Johnson also dismissed as absurd proposals for a tax raid on owners of expensive homes, warning that high rates of personal taxation would make Britain less competitive.

He urged politicians to be positive about businesses and stop using “austerity rhetoric”.

He insisted vilifying bankers was counterproductive - but also called on bankers to show more “moral leadership”.

“We have moved from the Age of Excess under Labour into an Age of Austerity - but if this country is to grow we need urgently to move on to a new Age of Enterprise,” he said.

“And for enterprise to flourish, we must be responsive to what is happening in the rest of the world.

“We can’t solve the banking crisis by imposing more regulations than our rivals in other European jurisdictions. We shouldn’t be gold plating the rules on capital adequacy out of some sense of guilt for having got it wrong last time, if that means we make London less attractive as a place to establish or expand your business.”

Mr Johnson added: “Not only have we got to stop vilifying bankers we need to make the moral case for banking for financing ventures at risk, for the free market allocation of capital as the most efficient means of enriching the greatest number of people. Because the human race has tried communism and it wasn’t a howling success.

“And symmetrically we need more moral leadership from the leading bankers of today.

It is not good enough for them to lick their wounds behind the stuccoed walls of their Notting Hill schlosses or to seclude themselves on the grouse moor and pretend that they have no reason to engage with society when the banking crisis had such a huge impact on many less fortunate than them.”

Amid speculation that David Cameron is preparing to do a U-turn on Heathrow expansion, the mayor said supporters of a third runway were delusional.

He said the political fallout and legal challenges would be so great it would not be any quicker than his preferred option of a new ‘Boris Island’ airport in Kent.

Mr Johnson also could not resist a dig at the coalition’s flagship police reforms as he took to the stage.

“I am delighted that this graveyard slot has generated a decent turn out,” he told the audience of business leaders in central London. “Bigger than the entire voting population in the recent police and crime commissioner elections.”

Hailing the capital as the “chief glory of the UK economy”, Mr Johnson said it dominated the world in the areas of law, property, insurance and accountancy.

Latest Stories

12:32
The cyclist's helmet camera captured the sickening moment that a car slammed into him [Picture from Youtube]

A cyclist was hit by a car in Romford, slammed into the windscreen and miraculously landed on his feet - and caught the whole thing on his helmet cam.

Read more
11:22
The trio lured their victim to a secluded part of Hampstead Heath (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A woman lured her fiancé to a secluded part of Hampstead Heath before beating him to near death with the help of two other men so they could steal £200 from him.

Read more
A million passengers are expected to fly out from London airports this weekend (Picture via Getty Images)

Expect travel chaos this weekend as almost one million Londoners are expected to fly out from the capital, with roads and railways also expected to be jam-packed as the summer getaway begins.

Read more

TOP Stories

12:32
The cyclist's helmet camera captured the sickening moment that a car slammed into him [Picture from Youtube]

A cyclist was hit by a car in Romford, slammed into the windscreen and miraculously landed on his feet - and caught the whole thing on his helmet cam.

11:22
The trio lured their victim to a secluded part of Hampstead Heath (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A woman lured her fiancé to a secluded part of Hampstead Heath before beating him to near death with the help of two other men so they could steal £200 from him.

A million passengers are expected to fly out from London airports this weekend (Picture via Getty Images)

Expect travel chaos this weekend as almost one million Londoners are expected to fly out from the capital, with roads and railways also expected to be jam-packed as the summer getaway begins.

Three unconnected attacks occurred at Green Park Tube. [Picture courtesy of Sunil060902 and Wikimedia Commons]

London’s Tubes and trains are now a little safer after police arrested 13 people for sexual offences last week – including three men accused of filming up women’s skirts.

Frank Dobson is set to quit to quit as an MP for Holborn and St Pancras at the next election (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Frank Dobson, the veteran Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancras, has confirmed he is quitting politics at the 2015 general election.

David was a DJ in the Soca scene in north London (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

A fresh appeal has been launched to find out the ‘horrifying circumstances’ which led to a part-time bus driver and DJ’s badly burned body being found under a railway arch in north London four years ago.

Yesterday, 15:13
The cyclist was killed by a lorry in Richmond (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

A cyclist who died from injuries sustained in a crash with a bin lorry in Richmond during rush-hour has been named as 40-year-old Henry Lang from the Twickenham area.

Promotions

Renault Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the Zoe was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

Always wanted to create your own beer? Perfect Pint are giving you the chance.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

The Week subscription offer

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.

Quizzes

How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more
How much do you know about films in London? (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Do you know your Lock Stock from your Long Good Friday, Sliding Doors from Shakespeare in Love?

Read more
How much about this great city do you really know? Take our true Londoner quiz and find out (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Do you know your apples from your pears? Take our Cockney quiz and see how much of a Londoner you really are.

Read more
Guess the manager quiz. Here's a hint, it's not these four.

The managerial merry-go-round spins quickly these days so do you think you’ve got the knowledge to recognise the faces of all these football bosses?

Read more
A normal day at London Liverpool Street station

This quiz is for people who think they know the Tube and rail inside out.

Read more