Jeremy Paxman has shot down the Times‘ suggestion that he is considering running to replace Boris as the Tory candidate for Mayor of London:
Though the invitation to see the PM suggests it wasn’t entirely fantasy…
Boris was a little short tempered at Mayor’s Question Time yesterday after being quizzed by expenses cheat Andrew Dismore. Ohhhhh.
Election mastermind David Lammy has said Ed will not win a majority in 2015:
“I don’t want to knock Ed personally. I actually think it’s a whole team issue. I think that, in the end, all of the major players that contribute to the Labour message.. have a lot to do between now and the general election. A lot to do!
I think that the next general election is going to be phenomenally close. I am not moving off my assumption, when I collapsed on to my sofa after the last general election with my wife and watched Nick Clegg and David Cameron walk into number 10, and that is we are in for a decade of either minority or coalition government. That was my general view [in 2010] there’s very little that’s shifted.”
The distancing of future Labour mayoral hopefuls from the current leadership has begun. Bad news for Team Ed favourite Sadiq Khan…
He can however listen to BBC London report on the fact his driving antics have been reported to the police:
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For once Sadiq is not answering his phone to any media.
The Mayor of London has evidently never seen Bread. Any connoisseur of eighties sitcoms knows that the Tory candidate in Clacton is actor Giles Watling, but not Boris on LBC this morning:
BJ: “We’ve got a fantastic guy called… bloody… superb man… Stirling? Girling? Something like that. What’s he called? You tell me.”
BJ: “Giles… come on what is it again?”
NF: “Giles… the Bread actor? Remember Bread?”
BJ: “No. Come on stop sitting there like a great big fat Buddha and tell me the name of this guy.”
NF: “No need to get personal Mr Mayor… It’s Giles Watling.”
BJ: “Giles Watling, that’s right. I knew it. Something to do with ling. Tingaling.”
Boris and Osborne have been having secret narrative-busting family barbecues. Apparently, we are all mi-steak-en to think the Chancellor and the Mayor are anything but best buddies without a leadership ribbing in sight. As revealed in yesterday’s Sun on Sunday, the Johnsons and the Osbornes broke bread over the summer at the Mayor’s Henley pad. Guido grilled both teams to find out what was really going on…
BBQ sauces close to the Chancellor says this is nothing new and there is “no hatchet to bury”. Meanwhile the Mayor’s people insist it is a “regular thing” and a “chance to catch up informally, away from Whitehall and their officials”, and that “they are friends”. This one has legs; delicious, flame-grilled legs.
David Lammy, the only candidate to officially declare he is a Labour candidate in the race to be the next Mayor of London, has hired Martin Bright to spin for him. “I’m on the payroll,” Bright tells Guido. A tough job to Mastermind a media strategy for the ambitious bid.
Poor old David Lammy. Tottenham’s political mastermind is busy drumming up support for his London mayoral run, having been the first Labour candidate to formally declare. Lammy tried to tweet a link to his snazzy new website on how he would tackle housing problems in London: LondonHousingReport.com. Instead, he tweeted a link to the similarly-named LondonHousingCrisis.com, a campaign website which features prominently his rival for the mayoralty, Sadiq Khan. Doh!
Boris has confirmed it’s Uxbridge. A seat populated by thousands of people who work at an airport the Mayor of London would like to see shut down. Well he’s got to make it a teeny bit challenging, Guido wonders for how much longer Boris will want to have “a genuine, honest discussion about what London could achieve in a world post Heathrow.” Even today he was still lobbying for his Island hub, which should jar somewhat with the local Tories…
Today’s Standard brings encouraging news in the race to be Labour’s candidate for London mayor. Diane Abbott is now ahead of Tessa Jowell among Labour supporters, with 17% saying they want Diane to be their candidate compared to just 14% choosing Tessa. As you can see from the chart below, the party is spoilt for choice:
Guido offers his warm support for Diane’s candidacy…
If Boris Johnson’s future career is dependent on his word-smithery, then his hopes of reaching No. 10 have been rapidly dashed. The Standard have the poem the Mayor wrote for a chum’s book launch:
When the RMT is out
And your tube is up the spout
And your bus is overheating
And you’ve missed a crucial meeting
Read a poem.
When you’ve been stopped from leading Labour
By your brother’s bad behaviour
Read some Wilfred Scawen Blunt
And forget the little ****.
If you’ve been driving much too fast
And Mrs Huhne has grassed
Don’t get cross at Mrs Huhne
Try some Owen or Sassoon
Read a poem.
Guido would say ‘don’t give up the day job’, but with the hunt on for safe seat, he’s not sure Boris is listening…
Guido would like to wish all his English readers a happy St George’s Day. If a man of Turkish origin can become patron saint of England, there is no stopping that other English hero of Turkish origin, Boris…
Forget airport capacity expansion, Boris needs a hair extension. Spinners do everything they can to try avoid the Mayor’s thinning hair from being seen, but they did not do very well on Channel 4 News last night:
Will his chances of reaching No.10 recede with his hairline?
Well this morning’s Call Boris on LBC could hardly have gone any worse. Who could have predicted that Nick Ferrari would ambush him with an IQ test? Not the Mayor, it seems:
He didn’t fare much better on tube ticket prices either:
No one could have seen that coming.
Fiercely bright London Mayor hopeful David Lammy has come up with an ingenious plan to help London’s commuters while on a fact-finding mission to Paris:
Guido cannot envisage a single problem with this plan. He’s sure Lammy has fully costed the proposal to widen and heighten all of those deep tube tunnels that would have to double in size.
Could we see another posh blond bombshell replace Boris Johnson? As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun column, TV adventurer Ben Fogle says he wants to swap Countryfile for the city as Mayor of London. And with Seb Coe, Alan Sugar, Eddie Izzard et al it’s not as if there aren’t enough celebs considering their options.
“I have my own aspirations in politics. I’ve only just realised rather naively today that Eddie Izzard is going for London Mayor. If I ever went into politics, which my wife thinks is a ludicrous idea, London Mayor strikes me as the most likely I think I might have a go at. I think it is more achievable than other areas.”
The Navy officer, turned gentleman traveller, turned hero of Animal Clinic does not exactly endear himself to his party leader:
“There are lots of Tory policies I like but I don’t entirely like where the Tories are right now. I’m not the biggest fan of David Cameron. I believe you should be what you are, not pretending to be someone you are not.”
A bit like Boris…
Speaking to Guido after his speech at the Institute of Directors this morning, the Mayor of London publicly criticised plans to massively expand free school meals for children:
“I tell you, it would be very easy to say, I think.. I think that it’s real you know errr I, what I think is there should be compulsion to eat the school meal, but I am in no means against getting parents who can pay for to pay for it.”
He added, “I have no problem with the concept of dinner money.” When Guido pushed him on his position, asking directly whether rich parents should be subsidised, the Mayor replied: “No well… Look I’m sure the government have a very good reason for doing it.” Quite what that is remains a mystery to many Tories…
Coincidently, the Boris ruled out running for a third term in City Hall:
[…] Read the rest
“I can rule that out, I can rule everything out”.