Boris Lies About Riots
During the Newsnight Mayoral Debate, Boris openly lied about his reaction to August rioting in London.
In a debate aired on BBC2 during Newsnight, Boris proclaimed he had hurried back to London as fast as was "humanly possible" a statement he was challenged on by Ken Livingstone:
Boris: ...in an ideal world I would not have been out of the country, er, when, er, those riots happened. As it was I came back as soon as was humanly possible in the sense that I had to I was about 300 miles away from the nearest airport in a camper van on top of a mountain in the west coast of Canada, I did come back as fast as was humanly possible and we got on with the job of sorting it out er... working with the police to er... bring the whole thing under control and of course... er.. to get on with getting the funds and regeneration money that was necessary... er... to turn, to turn...
Ken: But that’s not true, Boris.
Boris: ...to turn Croydon, er, Tottenham, er, other places in London...
Ken: I heard, I saw you on television, when you were asked if you were coming back you said no. Part of the problem here is that although you said you wanted to get back, I saw you being interviewed on the second day of riots and you said you weren’t coming back. It was only when you came under pressure...
Boris: You can’t have seen me... I don’t think you should be accusing me of any kind of inaccuracy, you can’t have seen me because I was nowhere near a camera...
Ken: I remember what you said: “my coming back would be a reward for the rioters”. I don’t think they gave a damn either way, to be honest”.
Did Boris rush back as soon as possible? As Boris himself might say, er, well...er... no. He spoke to the BBC by phone on the second day of rioting, to say:
"I am not going to come back at the moment because I have complete confidence in the police and I think that they are doing a very, very good job"
In the same interview, he twice referred to Mark Duggan as "Michael Duggan". Stay classy, Boris. Even senior sources in the government were incredulous:
"There was a strong feeling that he should have announced he was coming back sooner. When you have the Home Secretary cutting short her holiday while the man who is in charge of London stays away, you have to wonder what's going on." Another said: "Anyone would think he didn't have an election to fight next year."
On his eventual return, the reception he received from the public, who'd lived through the riots while their mayor was living it up in Canada, was less than friendly in Battersea:
Papers including the Daily Mail, the Independent, the Financial Times and the Guardian roundly called Boris's decision not to end his holiday early a foolish error. Even the Telegraph, the paper Boris writes his "chickenfeed" £250,000 a year column agreed the stunt had damaged Boris's re-election prospects, so why does he assume voters have such a short memory?
http://static.london.gov.uk/mayor/expenses/docs1112/B-Johnson.pdf Boris Johnson didn't get on a plane from Canada until 8 August. Guto Harri also charged the taypayer for his return flight from Spain on 10 August: http://static.london.gov.uk/mayor/expenses/docs1112/B-Johnson.pdf
Excellent tale there. What took place following? Fantastic luck!
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