The Mayor’s Question Time is an opportunity for members of the London Assembly to quiz the mayor about aspects of his policy and governance. Boris is normally pretty adept at fending off awkward questions from the floor…until a recent meeting where it would be fair to say that he lost his rag somewhat.
The Mayor of London is pushing ahead with plans to close 10 fire stations and axe over 500 jobs in London’s fire service. Clearly, this has not gone down well with firefighters, the public (who are concerned about losing fire cover) and several members of the London Assembly.
The meeting started off badly when Bozza was heckled and called a ‘liar’ by firefighters in the public gallery. And, according to the Huffington Post, when one heckler said the number of deaths from fire in London was going up, Boris retorted that this was ‘completely wrong’ before muttering ‘b*ll*cks’ under his breath.
As the cries of outrage continued, he said: “One death from fire is too many; I won’t be shouted at from the gallery, I am not being interrupted … when I am simply explaining the number of deaths from fire has come down.”
Bozza was then quizzed by Assembly member Andrew Dismore about the proposed cuts. “How can cutting fire stations, cutting fire engines, cutting fire fighters posts not be a reduction in fire cover?” Dismore angrily demanded.
A visibly annoyed Boris insisted he was in fact improving services, replaying: “Because we’re improving cover – As I’ve said several times.”
Interrupting the mayor, Dismore said he had “lied to the people of London.” And this is when it all went rather to pot.
“Oh get stuffed,” the Mayor grumpily muttered.
Boris then apologised immediately, saying: “I’m sorry, I apologise to, to, to … It just popped out. I’m very sorry,” seemingly forgetting Dismore’s name.
Swearing under his breath? Telling a fellow politician to ‘get stuffed’? What’s next? An 18-certificate Twitter rant? A part in a Quentin Tarantino movie? Doing a Prescott and getting the fists out…?