Now, it’s the Irish that he seems to have insulted. During a recent interview with the New Statesman magazine, Bozza linked the annual St. Patrick’s Day gala dinner to Sinn Fein and called the celebrations “leftie crap.”
The interview included the comment: “I’ll tell you what makes me angry… spending £20,000 on a dinner at the Dorchester (hotel) for Sinn Féin” and his remarks have caused offence to some Irish voters.
Christine Quigley, Irish Secretary for the Labour Party, said: “Boris should get his facts straight. The annual St Patrick’s Day event he refers to was a self-financing community event attended by a wide range of Irish actors, politicians from every party, community figures and celebrities. It did not cost the taxpayer £20,000 and it was not a Sinn Féin event.”
The event was cancelled in 2009 as part of a cost-cutting exercise.
With an estimated 200,000 Irish voters in London, the remarks could be enough to swing the result of the election away from the incumbent Mayor. Is he worried though? Apparently not.
The Mayor’s office has stated that “they have nothing further to add” and stressed the comments were “about the use of public resources.” A further statement stated that Boris “does support London’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations…”