A bicycle made for two

27 Apr
April 27, 2011

Having already caused a sartorial kerfuffle by effectively forcing David Cameron into wearing a morning suit for the Royal Wedding, Bozza has now found himself embroiled in another royal row over his choice of wedding present.

As the Daily Mail reports, ‘London Mayor Boris Johnson is to present William and Kate with a gift that combines his eccentric approach to politics with his obsession with cycling: a tandem based on the design of the capital’s street-hire bicycles.’

However, Bozza did cause a row when he demanded that Transport for London pay for the £500 bike. Now, we’ve asked around the Boriswatch office, and we have yet to find a person who didn’t pay for their own gift when attending someone’s wedding. We haven’t found anyone yet who managed to get a public body to chip in for a pressie on their behalf.

Understandably, bosses at Transport for London objected to Bozza’s request on the grounds that it would be wrong to use taxpayers’ money in such a way. So, Serco (the company that runs the Boris Bikes scheme) has agreed to pay for the customised bike.

A senior Whitehall source said the tandem would help raise the profile of Mr Johnson’s cycle scheme. He said: “It is typical of Boris to want to give a tandem as a special gift, but TfL didn’t want to pay for it out of public money. They said it would set the wrong precedent and give out the wrong message.”

Despite not wanting to put his hand in his own pocket for the event, the Mail reports that Boris ‘has organised free live screenings of the Royal Wedding in Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square on Friday’ and has ‘encouraged communities in the capital to hold street parties.’

A spokesman said: “The Mayor is determined to mark the historic event to show London’s support for the happy couple. He is planning additional celebrations and surprises.”

I’m sure he is. As long as someone else pays for it…..

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Elvetham Heath