Boris’ hypocrisy on (economy) class

Boris Johnson has railed against Peter Mandelson for travelling to Davos in business class. But the mayor has abused his taxi expenses to the tune of £4,600.

Boris Johnson has used his weekly Telegraph column to rail against Peter Mandelson and his entourage’s decision to travel to the World Economic Forum in Davos by business class.

Johnson writes:

“Mandy and his entourage, of course, were flying sharp end; and as we struggled on down the aisle they subjected us to a certain amount of jocular raillery. They would send us some food, they scoffed, and perhaps a glass of champagne.

“In a spirit of glorious self-righteousness, we shouted back over our shoulders that this was the difference between Labour and Tories. Ours, I bragged, was the approach that the recession-battered public wanted to see. We were the ones who were being frugal with taxpayers’ money.”

Was Boris really annoyed about the additional expense the taxpayer would incur? Or the insult that being forced to accept a lower status during his 100 minute flight to Switzerland.

Never mind that Lord Mandelson denied this morning that the plane had first class, is this the same Boris Johnson that spent more than £4,500 of public money on taxis – including one bill for £237, during his first year in office?

Figures released in June 2009 revealed Johnson’s taxi claimed fares of more than £100 between May 2008 and May 2009. The receipts he submitted included one for £237.50 for a 7.5 mile journey across London – at £31 a mile. Other claims included a £99.50 return taxi from City Hall to Elephant and Castle, which are approximately a mile apart. And another expenses claim included a £99.75 cab from the Red Lion pub in Westminster to the City and a £101.83 return cab from City Hall to the Stock Exchange, just 2.4 miles away. There were many more examples of Boris’ taxi habits and how he is “being frugal with taxpayers’ money.” It is also worth noting that Mayor Johnson can travel for free on the tube.

He closes his opinion piece with this statement:

“The servants of the people should travel with the people.”


Our guest writer is Peter Carrol

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