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Boriswatch - Page 5 of 79 - Tracking Mayor Boris Johnson every step of the way
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‘Disgusting’ journalism

Boris Johnson is interviewed by Eddie Mair on BBC1's The Andrew Marr ShowIt started off as a gentle Sunday morning interview. Eddie Mair – standing in for Andrew Marr on the BBC’s flagship Sunday morning programme – was quizzing the Mayor of London about issues including economic migrants and the Olympic legacy. It was all quite well-mannered and sedate – until the whole encounter took quite a turn.

Out of nowhere, Mair decided to question Boris’ integrity. “The Times let you go after you made up a quote. Why did you make up a quote?” he asked. Immediately flummoxed, Boris wondered: “Are you sure your viewers wouldn’t want to hear more about housing in London?” Mair replied: “OK. But you made a quote up.”

Boris began to explain: “Well, what happened was that … I ascribed events that were supposed to have taken place before the death of Piers Gaveston to events that actually took place after the death of Piers Gaveston,” he said.

“Yes. You made something up,” Mair replied. Johnson said: “Well, I mean, I mildly sandpapered something somebody said, and yes it’s very embarrassing and I’m very sorry about it.”

After this revelation, it was clear that Mair smelled blood: “Let me ask you about a barefaced lie. When you were in Michael Howard’s team, you denied to him you were having an affair. It turned out you were and he sacked you for that. Why did you lie to your party leader?”

Boris was again clearly uncomfortable: “Well, I mean again, I’m … with great respect … on that, I never had any conversation with Michael Howard about that matter and, you know, I don’t propose …”

Mair interrupted: “You did lie to him.”

Johnson: “Well, you know, I don’t propose to go into all that again.”

Mair: “I don’t blame you.” He then went on the offensive again, determined to get Boris to admit that his ultimate ambition is to be Prime Minister. He said: “You could end it all just by saying what you know to be true. What should viewers make of your inability to give a straight answer to a straight question?”

Bozza, now on the ropes, replied: “They [the viewers] don’t care about phone conversations with my friends 20 years ago, they don’t care about some ludicrous, so-called made-up quote, and what’s the third accusation? I can’t remember …”

“Lying to Michael Howard,” Mair reminds him.

The Johnson family’s response to the remarkable interview has been mixed. Bozza has conceded that Mair did ‘a fantastic job’ while his father, Stanley, has slammed the BBC, calling the interview a ‘disgusting’ piece of journalism.

Johnson Sr told London talk radio station LBC on Monday: “I thought Eddie Mair’s interview was one of the most disgusting pieces of journalism I’ve listened to for a very long time. The BBC sank about as low as it could.”

However, Bozza was more generous. He said: “”Eddie Mair did a splendid job. There is no doubt that is what the BBC is for – holding us to account.

“I fully concede it wasn’t my most blistering performance, but that was basically because I was set to talk about the Olympics and housing in London and he wanted to talk about other things, some of them – my private life and so on – of quite some antiquity, the details of which I wasn’t brilliant on. He was perfectly within his rights to have a bash at me – in fact it would have been shocking if he hadn’t. If a BBC presenter can’t attack a nasty Tory politician what’s the world coming to?”

Did you watch the interview? Was it ‘disgusting’ journalism or did the BBC hold Boris to account?

Whatever floats your, er, home

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Floating VillageBoris has come up with plenty of bonkers ideas in his time. Cross-Thames cable cars. An airport in the sea. Becoming a politician (guffaw). Now, though, the Mayor has come up with an absolute belter: he wants to build a floating village on the Thames in East London.

According to LBC, Bozza is looking for developers to come up with ideas for a community of homes, hotels, restaurants and bars in the Royal Docks. While the fifteen-acre site sits directly under the Emirates Airline cable car, resident may be more concerned by the fact that the village will sit under the flight path to London City Airport.

Mr Johnson said: “This site is unique [No kidding – Boriswatch Planning Ed]. It has the potential to become one of the most sought after addresses in the capital while breathing new life back into London’s waterways.”

Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales said: “This venture will provide a major boost for the local economy and further cement the area’s reputation as one of the capital’s must-visit places.”

Would you live in a village on the river? Share your thoughts in the comments below…


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Carry On Mayoring
Carry On Mayoring

Bozza is no stranger to television. He’s appeared on countless shows through the years, from his famous guest slots on Have I Got News For You right through to a bizarre cameo in BBC soap-opera Eastenders.

Now, though, Boris is getting his own show where he is set to play…himself. The Metro has revealed that Bozza will star in a new documentary about himself and his life. The newspaper say that “the documentary, which is set to air on the BBC, will feature the politician discussing his personal and professional life in candid interviews with Michael Cokerell.”

In fact, the word ‘candid’ appears a LOT in the story. A source said: ‘It’s a complete profile of the most popular and interesting politician in Britain before adding that it was a ‘candid’ and ‘revealing’ portrait of Johnson.

The Sun reports that the film will see Bozza candidly reveal details about his candid rivalry with candid PM David Cameron. The documentary is set to see Boris allege candidly that his rivalry with the PM stems from their time at Eton, where Bozza was Cameron’s candid senior by two years.

Boris’ mother, Charlotte Johnson ‘Candid’ Wahl, is also featured in the film and is sure to provide some candid remarks.

The film will air on March 25 on BBC2. Set your candid cameras!


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Daily Mail - NewsYou know how it is. You don’t hear anyone use the word ‘jelly’ as an insult for years, and then the same person uses it twice in a matter of days. Happens all the time.

Boris has used the last few days to bandy about the ‘jelly’ insult as if it was going out of fashion. Firstly, the Mayor used it to have a pop at his coalition partner and deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.

“Lib Dems are wobbling jellies of indecision and vacillation, particularly Clegg,” said Bozza. “His single contribution to politics has been to do a u-turn on tuition fees and make a song about it, that’s all he’s done.”

The Huffington Post called Boris’ comments, made as campaigning got under way at the Eastleigh by-election, ‘a withering, and typically colourful, assessment of his party’s Westminster coalition partners’.

You’d think that bringing back the term ‘jelly’ in a pejorative sense would have been a one-off event. But no. Bozza then decided to take the ‘jelly’ thing to a whole new level of bizarre.

In a startling City Hall meeting, the Mayor reacted angrily after the London Assembly rejected the chance to question him about his budget. Sky reports that Boris ‘had been due to be questioned by Assembly members on his £16.5bn budget for the capital in a session at City Hall.’

However, the Assembly voted in favour of not scrutinising the budget, leaving the Mayor flabbergasted and grasping for the nearest insult he could find: a jelly-based one.

He said: “They have no questions. They don’t want to scrutinise. Are you saying they are abdicating their duty to scrutinise me? Are you saying they haven’t the guts to put questions to me?  Great supine proto-plasmic invertebrate jellies.”

Now, we at Boriswatch HQ have heard some insults before. I remember a Christmas party once where Boriswatch’s Features Editor called our London expert a ******g *****d *p ******g but that was nothing compared to this. Even by Bozza’s standards, ‘great supine proto-plasmic invertebrate jellies’ is a humdinger.

Assembly chair Jennette Arnold ‘battled to continue the meeting as Mr Johnson muttered his protests while he gathered his belongings and walked out’, apparently. I’m not surprised.


Foxing the Public

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FoxOne of the most astonishing things about Boris is that he has the ability to say anything and get away with it. He could argue that black was white, then argue the following day that black was black. We might think it odd, but then we shrug our shoulders, say “Well, it’s Boris” and get on with things.

There has been a terrific example of Boris’ Teflon-ism this week, on the subject of urban foxes. In the Mayor’s recent Telegraph column he wrote: “Foxes go for vulnerable critters. They might go for your toes if you were lying in a stupor, but only because they failed to grasp that your toes were attached to a large and potentially violent human being. They might go (once in a blue moon) for a baby, but only because a baby is defenceless.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I lay the facts of the case before you, and I suggest that the evidence against the fox is by no means conclusive. I am left with the mystery of that first eruption of rage, that chilling certainty as to the authors of the crime. There is a word for that misapprehension. There was something that made me finger the newcomers, the strangers, the ones who weren’t around when I was a kid. There was something that made me want to believe that the culprits were the recent additions to our urban habitat, the ones who make the spooky yowling at night. I think the word for that anti-fox feeling is prejudice. Or am I wrong?”

A lovely and passionate defence of vulpes vulpes, there. How nice to see.

A week later, however, came this following a fox ‘attack’ on a baby in Bromley: “They may appear cuddly and romantic, but foxes are also a pest and a menace, particularly in our cities. This must serve as a wake-up call to London’s borough leaders, who are responsible for pest control. They must come together, study the data, try to understand why this is becoming such a problem and act quickly to sort it out.”

Oh. A lovely call for all of vulpes vulpes to be dealt with, there. How, er, nice to see…

Next caller: Boris from Islington

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Boris CleggEvery week, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg settles down for his phone-in show on London radio station LBC. It’s a chance for Londoners to ask the Deputy Prime Minister questions, and so one of the capital’s more, er, famous residents decided to get in on the act this week.

The Mayor of London posed as a listener – Boris from Islington – and ambushed the Deputy PM’s show with a recorded message. The BBC reports that Bozza said: “Hi Nick, it’s Boris here from Islington. When are you going to get all those government ministers out of their posh limos and onto public transport like everybody else?

“And how can we possibly expect government to vote for increases in infrastructure spending which we need in this city, and upgrading the Tube which we all need, when they sit in their chauffeur-driven limousines paid for by the taxpayer.”

He signed off with the message: “Nick – get them out of their limos. Boris, over and out.”

Clegg responded by claiming that the government had cut the ministerial car bill inherited by the previous Labour government “I think by about 70%”, which he described as “a big step in the right direction”. He said ministers did not use cars all the time, adding that he was travelling to Sheffield later by train. [Does he adopt the Government policy of sitting in first class but not paying it? – OsborneWatch]

Talk show host Nick Ferrari then revealed the Mayor would be on his show the following week, to which Mr Clegg said: “Tell him to get out of his limo and get the infrastructure projects that we’re offering, moving.”

You’re Through To Boot Camp

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BootCampOne of the problems facing young people is London is the limited number of places that are available at the business end of the X-Factor. Thousands of ambitious teenagers head to the auditions and yet Gary Barlow only gets to see a few of them at the Boot Camp stage of the competition. And what’s that going to do for their behaviour and confidence, eh?

So, Boris is tackling this problem head on. He has announced that this year a thousand children are set to be set to Boot Camp, giving these lucky people the chance to really perfect their warbly version of Wind Beneath My Wings.

The Mayor has announced the £1.6 million scheme and, it says here in the Standard, it will ‘help reduce truancy and disruption in classes and boost educational achievement’. One can only imagine the downward spiral a teen gets into after being told that they can’t sing Rihanna’s Diamonds at Louis Walsh’s house.

The Standard also reports that ‘many will provide one-to-one support to help with mental health, speech and communication problems.’ Naturally. You’re not going to get onto prime time Saturday night television to be patronised by someone called Tulisa if you can’t communicate, are you?

Mr Johnson said: “There is nothing worse than seeing pupils full of potential slowly drifting into apathy. There are many reasons for low achievement and poor motivation, but our leadership clubs aim to boost morale and unlock the ability in each student.”

The sessions will range from Saturday school schemes using art and music to boost confidence. Initial plans leaked to* Boriswatch suggest that attendees will learn important techniques including the Mariah Carey noodle and the Westlife ‘stool key change’ routine. Other sessions will be strict “boot camp”-style regimes to improve self-discipline and prepare the teens for the rigours of life in the public eye.

Deputy Mayor for Education Munira Mirza said: “Instead of writing off so many young people and making excuses for their problems in and out of school, this scheme is about seeing their potential and motivating them to realise it.

“I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way,” she didn’t add.

(*made up by)

Bang On The Money

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Cameron BorisSo, the Prime Minister has finally clarified his position on Europe. If he wins the next General Election and he’s still Prime Minster after that and if (and this is a big if) he can negotiate repatriated powers from the European Union that satisfy him and (and this is another big if) his party then he will give the British people a chance to decide whether they want to stay in Europe. If he’s still alive, Europe still exists and everyone hasn’t died of boredom, that is.

Boris believes that the MP is ‘bang on the money’ and invented a word to show his support. “What most sensible people want is to belong to the single market but to lop off the irritating excrescences of the European Union,’ he said. “There are a lot of other countries around that want to see reform. I think it’s going to be much simpler than people expect to get a better deal.”


However, Boris stopped short of backing a ‘yes’ vote in a potential in/out in/out shakeitallabout referendum. When asked by Bloomberg TV whether he would vote ‘yes’ in a referendum, he said: “I couldn’t say now. But my overwhelming instinct would be that we can get sufficient changes, reforms and improvements to the treaty to make it sensible for most people in my country to vote to stay in the single market.”

The Mayor made the comments while in Davros at the World Economic Forum. Bozza described the WEF as ‘a great big constellation of egos involved in massive mutual orgies of adulation’ but said he believed the meeting was important because ‘you do meet people who you can encourage to invest in London.’

Tour de Stratford

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kelly boris
Boris Johnson and Kelly Brook recreate how the start of stage 4 of 2014’s Tour de France will look

The clue is often in the name. The Melton Mowbray pork pie comes from Melton Mowbray. The US President is, generally, the president of the United States. And, the Tour de France – the world’s greatest cycle race – winds its way around the majestic country of…Britain.

Yes, the Tour de France in 2014 is coming to London. Now, our Boriswatch researcher has discovered that London hasn’t been part of France since 1903. For over a hundred years France has been a country in its own right, with its own political structures, meat food preferences and cycling jamboree.

“It’s been the most incredible epoch in the history of cycling that any of us can remember; and I am absolutely delighted that the world’s greatest cycling race is coming to the capital,” said Monsieur Boris le Johnson, the Mayor of Lille London, munching on a croissant and listening to a Sacha Distel CD.

The iconic cycle race will wind its way around the Olympic Park and past many of Montpellier’s London’s tourist sites including the Tower of Aix-en-Provence London and the Palace of Versailles Houses of Parliament. Eventually, it will head back to the Independent Republic of France where, frankly, it belongs.

“People will see London framed by shooting velocipedes for what will be a fantastic spectacle of sport. I am going to be in the crowd and I hope thousands more will too,”chirruped Le Mayor. “Allons enfants de la Patrie, le jour de gloire est arrivé!” he didn’t add.


The UK’s Most Influential Man

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IMAGE FREE FOR USE ---Park Plaza Westminster Bridge HotelSo, then, a poll to find the UK’s most influential man. On the panel are important citizens including PR mastermind Matthew Freud, Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti, Sir Philip Green, Daily Mail editor-in-chief Paul Dacre, president of the Royal Society Sir Paul Nurse, Richard Branson and co-director of the Serpentine Gallery Hans Ulrich Obrist.

Clearly, they’ll pick the Prime Minister, right? Or Prince William? Or Bradley Wiggins? (ahem).
No. The UK’s most influential man is… (drum roll) David Beckham.
No, of course it isn’t. It’s our very own Mayor of London who beat political rivals including David Cameron, Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt to the ‘prize’. Other notable people in the top ten, published in GQ magazine, include Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood (deemed more influential than the PM), Lord Justice Leveson, Downing Street Director of Strategy Andrew Cooper and, oddly, William Waldegrave.
The Daily Mail reports that ‘The Mayor of London, who won plaudits for his handling of the widely-praised Olympic Games, triumphed over luminaries in politics, showbusiness and top executives in a list published by GQ magazine.’

A spokesman for GQ told the Daily Telegraph that list featured a large proportion of old-Etonians and wealthy figures ‘who were more guarded about their private lives after the explosion of web gossips who discussed the details of the rich and famous.’

She added: ‘Untrammelled power like that wielded by Rupert Murdoch is replaced by institutional scrutiny and new-media guruism. In reaction there has been a resurgence of the old guard – former Etonians dominate public life once more, including the mayor of London, the archbishop of Canterbury and the prime minister.’

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