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

We give our verdicts on the outfits that graced the red carpet.

Read more

Is Downton Abbey just a soap opera hiding under all that pomposity?

Read more

Know what lurks in the deep off our coast…

Read more

TOP Stories

Arnis Zalkalns was seen riding his bike along the towpath where Alice was last spotted

Police hunting for missing schoolgirl Alice Gross and Arnis Zalkalns have found the suspect’s bike.

The teenagers were found guilty at the Old Bailey (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

A boy has been found guilty of raping a teenager in a Willesden alleyway in punishment for spreading rumours about his sister.

The baby was attacked by a Staffordshire bull terrier dog like this one [Photograph by Gemma Longman]

A baby suffered a terrifying ordeal when a dog ripped part of her nose off.

Promotions

Imagine having your own idyllic house in the French countryside - and make it happen! [Photograph by Mike Simler]

Ever dreamed of living in a rural cottage in France with ivy round the door, chickens in your garden, and fresh croissants for breakfast from the local patisserie a short walk away in the nearby village?

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

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.

London Bloggers

Wed, 14:16
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.

Quizzes

(Photo by Ben Horton/Getty Images for Madame Tussauds Hollywood)

If there’s one thing that can change Londoners from nice, normal people into superhumans capable of extreme levels of rage and passive aggression, it’s the descent below-ground.

Read more
Do you fancy yourself as a football ground know-it-all? Try our devilishly difficult quiz!

How well do you know your football stadiums? This brand new quiz from London24 will seperate the men from the boys...

Read more
Do you know your Thames truths from the porkie pies? (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

So, you live (or work) in London, and you think you know the river well.

Read more