London mayor election: Boris Johnson attacks ‘tax-dodger’ Ken Livingstone

16:48 03 March 2012

Boris Johnson wants to build the two crossings to Newham by 2021

Boris Johnson wants to build the two crossings to Newham by 2021

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Any lingering hopes the London mayoral election might be a clean contest with no cheap jibes among opponents were dashed today as Boris Johnson launched an attack on his “tax-dodging” rival Ken Livingstone.

Labour’s candidate, a critic of tax avoidance, has come under pressure in recent weeks after it emerged he had been paid, legally, through a company instead of being taxed at source.

The Mayor of London, standing again as the Conservative candidate, accused his predecessor of being a “hypocrite” as well as a “glove puppet” for trade unions as he launched his re-election campaign.

Addressing the Conservative Party spring forum, Mr Johnson said: “I’m afraid on May 3 I do see real risks for this city and this country.

“I see a risk that City Hall will be recaptured by a bunch of semi-reformed Trotskyist, car-hating, (Venezuelan President) Hugo Chavez-idolising, newt-fancying, tax-dodging, bank-bashing hypocrites and bendy bus fetishists.”

Mr Johnson also launched a defence of City workers, telling activists there were 600,000 employees who depended on the financial sector in London, many on “modest” incomes.

“It’s about time we stopped abusing them,” he said.

He told the packed hall he felt like a “man who has built half a bridge” and could see what needed to be done to complete his “modernisation” programme.

Setting out his election blueprint, he said: “I feel like a man who has built half a bridge, or half a cable car - a massive, privately sponsored cable car. I can see the other side. I can see what needs to be done.”

He unveiled his nine-point plan for re-election, which includes council tax freezes, job creation, putting more police on the beat and cutting Tube delays.

He also pledged to secure a better deal for London from No 10, something that has already seen the Mayor cross swords with Downing Street.

Earlier today, David Cameron urged party members to help get Mr Johnson re-elected.

The Prime Minister said: “He’s defended the economic interests of London at every turn - believe me, I know.

“He’s a brilliant Mayor of the best city on Earth so let’s make sure that Boris gets another term.

“And to anyone wondering about the best thing to say on the doorstep, I give you just two words Ken Livingstone.

“We cannot let that man back running our capital city again.”

It comes as Mr Livingstone, the former Labour mayor who is vying to take back the job, launched his Fare Deal soapbox pledging to cut fares by seven per cent by October 7.

A campaign spokesman said: “Ken’s Fare Deal fare cut is clearly shown to be the most popular policy in the election.

“As we enter the next phase of the campaign Ken will take his red soapbox with his Fare Deal message to town centres all over London, starting in the battleground of Havering.”

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
The eponymous craft beer is not always brewed in the capital (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

If there’s two things London foodies are obsessed with, it’s craft beer and local products, so it’s a surprise to learn that a drink that is named after London and boasts of being “the quintessential English lager” is sometimes brewed in Europe.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015
How should the next generation of Boris bikes look? (Photo by Steve Bardens/ Getty Images for Santander)

Santander Boris bikes as we know them could be a thing of the past after TfL issued a tender for their redesign.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015
New Fathers 4 Justice campaigners altered this local council anti- domestic violence poster in Greenwich Station (Picture: New Fathers 4 Justice)

An anti-domestic violence poster has angered fathers campaign groups and today two activists were ‘removed’ by police from a south-east London train station for defacing the council missive.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Paddy Power reckon it's a dead cert for Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn (Lauren Hurley/PA Wire)

Jeremy Corbyn’s victory in the Labour leadership race is a “done deal” according to one bookmaker which has already started paying out on bets.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Computer class

New figures show, in the face of growing youth unemployment, vacancies for digital jobs is set to widen in the next year.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Lord Sewel resigns from the House of Lords (Picture: PA Images)

Lord Sewel has quit the House of Lords after video footage emerged of him allegedly taking cocaine with two prostitutes in his London flat, even snorting a line off one woman’s breasts.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more
Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Read more
Free weekly shop? Yes please!

Win £200 to spend at Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets. Asda prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here.

Read more