Boris Johnson suffered a rather telling Freudian slip talking to LBC’s Theo Usherwood today, where he referred to the Labour leader as “Jeremy Putin”. Boris quickly corrected himself before explaining that he confused them because they’re “interchangeable old Stalinists”. Guido thought Corbyn’s “Senior Labour Source” was the Stalinist…
Victory for progress as TFL climbs down and drops the most punitive regulations imposed on taxi firm Uber. Gone is the dangerous stipulation that customers would have to wait five minutes for a ride. As is the proposal that locations of Uber cars should not be visible in the app to customers. Making private hire vehicles pay the congestion charge and raising minicab license costs is being considered instead. Boris has embraced technological progress, too:
“There were some ideas consulted upon that did not find widespread support and I think are not sensible. They’re trying to turn back the clock on technical progress, we cant disinvent the internet or apps, they’re making things much easier in our city”.
Increasing regulations on Uber was never the solution, relaxing rules for cabbies is the only sensible way to level the playing field…
Stories in two newspapers this morning suggest that two so-called Eurosceptics will not in the end campaign to leave the EU. The Express claims Boris held talks with Tory MPs about leading the Leave campaign but turned the role down. They quote him as saying: “The trouble is, I am not an outer”.
“He used to be a prominent Eurosceptic (indeed, his scepticism was one of the reasons he was appointed). Now he is mid-restyle. Having sensed that his own political survival may be in peril unless he sucks up to 10 Downing Street, he is turning himself into a Europhile… The Hammond of old is quickly being replaced by a Hammond who gives Europe the benefit of the doubt, a Hammond who is striving to keep Britain IN the European Union, a Hammond who with a superior lifting of the eyebrows, a tone of settled worldliness, asserts that he finds EU-sceptic position options to be unappealing. ‘Doesn’t look like a good plan to me,’ he murmured yesterday, perhaps a mite too ostentatiously, after hearing someone mention Norway’s position outside the EU. Equating Britain to Norway is a worn Europhile tactic.”
Looking at Guido’s guide to Cabinet Eurosceptics, the only three who seem dead certs to campaign to Leave are IDS, Grayling and Theresa Villers. May, Gove and Saj are all on the fence, and Cameron’s new rules gagging ministers from making pronouncements on Europe until the renegotiation is complete mean that isn’t going to change any time soon. Where is the X-it Factor?
Boris Johnson on Donald Trump’s claim that there are ‘no-go zones’ for non-Muslims in London:
“Donald Trump’s ill-informed comments are complete and utter nonsense. As a city where more than 300 languages are spoken, London has a proud history of tolerance and diversity and to suggest there are areas where police officers cannot go because of radicalisation is simply ridiculous. I would welcome the opportunity to show Mr Trump first hand some of the excellent work our police officers do every day in local neighbourhoods throughout our city. Crime has been falling steadily both in London and in New York – and the only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.”
Guido is off to Wembley. Vive la France!
Things have not gone entirely to plan on Boris’ trip to the West Bank today.
First, a Jewish Chronicle journalist covering the trip alongside British journalists was told by the Palestinians that she could not attend because she is Israeli. Nice.
Then, the Palestinian Prime Minister’s office banned British journalists from attending his meeting with the London Mayor. Palestinian journalists will be allowed to ask questions.
What next? Boris blasted those who want to boycott Israel as “corduroy-jacketed lefties”:
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Comments which led to threats from Palestinians on Twitter of a mass protest and “security concerns” meaning that all Boris’ meetings in the Palestinian territories had to be cancelled. According to LBC’s Tom Swarbrick, who is on the trip, the British press pack have been holed up in their hotel and are now heading back to Jerusalem. Just one problem…
The Mayor of London has been in Tel Aviv today, undertaking a very serious trade mission to champion tech innovation.
Listen closely for his long-suffering aide heard shouting “Okay Boris. We need to go!”.
UPDATE: More footage has emerged of the Mayor sampling a virtual reality simulator which puts children into the body of animals to teach empathy.
Boris branded it as “a way of trying to overcome childish solipsism”. A feat Guido suspects he is still yet to master…
Boris again flirted with backing Brexit but appeared to rule out leading the Leave campaign to Nick Ferrari on LBC this morning:
NF: “Are you going to lead the No campaign?”
BJ: “I’m going to see what the outcome of the negotiations is…”
NF: “Would you be prepared to lead the No campaign?”
BJ: “Look, I think it would be absolutely fatal for any campaign if it were to be led by me, frankly.”
NF: “Are you not a leader then? Are you not a leader?”
BJ: “I’m very happy to be a supporter…”
NF: “So you don’t see yourself as a leader?”
BJ: “Listen, Nick, if you want to chop logic with me all morning…”
“Fatal” was an unfortunate choice of word…
Boris has launched a programme that will rank buildings in London by their connectivity and help businesses understand whether offices will meet their internet needs. Any building that signs up to the Connectivity Ratings Scheme will receive a technical assessment from WiredScore, who run similar programmes across major US cities, and will be ranked against other London buildings in a searchable database.
There is staggering variability in the the quality of broadband connections across London and a culture of property owners not being upfront about just how bad the connectivity in their building is. By creating a voluntary database, Boris hopes to force landlords to compete against each other to make their properties more attractive to tenants. Now to rank them by proximity to Nandos…
Some suggest that it was in fact the kamikaze kid who tried to stop Boris.
Competitive or what?
Boris has been spotted in Japan dancing an impromptu waltz in an upmarket department store in Hankyu, Osaka. The lucky lady is Charlotte Gooch, who is starring in a touring production of Top Hat:
One’s a theatrical blonde on manoeuvres, the other’s Charlotte Gooch…
Boris flirts with Brexit:
“I think the price of getting out is lower than it’s ever been”
Boris couldn’t resist the temptation when Olympic hero James Cracknell challenged him to jump on the rower at Conference today.
Life is but a dream…