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

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Mirand is ending – but will she be tripping off into the sunset with Gary?

Read more

Mobile phone footage could hold crucial evidence about what happened.

Read more

The video games industry will hand out some of its biggest awards on Friday night in London.

Read more

Promotions

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

Mobile phone footage could hold crucial evidence about what happened.

Scientists have found that cooking with olive oil is better than cooking with many of the seed oils.

Dozens of yellow flowers have been left in her honour at Hanwell clock tower as a mark of respect.

This feel-good clip is well worth a watch.

TOP Stories

14 minutes ago
The camera is over there, mate: Anton Newell's mugshot from British Transport Police

A man from Wood Green’s Marlborough Road has been sentenced to eight years in prison for stealing from South Acton Overground station twice in a week.

31 minutes ago
The bus driver had a fight with two passengers at a bus stop on Bexleyheath's Geddes Place (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A bus driver lost his temper and came to blows with two passengers on the number 89 bus in Bexleyheath - and ended up rolling around on the floor.

Yesterday, 17:48
Zaire enjoying her cake at London Zoo

This sweeth-toothed gorilla celebrated her birthday in style - by filling her face with a special cake made by Great British Bake Off finalist Richard Burr.

London Bloggers

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit:

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.