The House magazine has turned into a must-read under Paul Waugh and tonight the magazine has interviews with both Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone ahead of next week’s nailbiting London mayoral elections.
It’s the Boris interview which is most fascinating, as he puts as much clear blue water between himself and the coalition government as he can. Clearly he is aware that Labour’s roughly 1o-point national lead could terminally damage his chances in the capital. Of course it’s not the first time he has criticised David Cameron and George Osborne – but here he cranks up the rhetoric.
Here is a flavour:
On the charity tax:
My general instinct in this is that charitable giving is a good thing. It is to be encouraged. I don’t want it to be a tax dodge. But in so far as we can get people to give more and create a greater sense of obligation to our society, that would be a good thing.
On George Osborne:
“My relationship with George and the Treasury is fine – provided he’s coughing up.
I will continue to go in and fight, and if there are occasions when the plaster comes off the ceiling as the result of something I’ve said or some point I’ve made, then that is inevitable, that’s what being Mayor is all about, and I think people now understand that.
On fuel duty:
Someone the other day shouted at me could I cut the price of fuel? If I could, I would of course, is my answer.
On his independence:
People understand that the mayoral system is different, they understand that the Mayor is to a greater extent independent of party or government