Boris takes aim at Cameron with talk of “Kosovo-style social cleansing”

London's Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson today criticised the coalition government's plans for housing benefit, labelling it a "Kosovo-style social cleansing of London". Johnson's criticisms mark another dispute in the space of a week between the London Mayor and the prime minister - after David Cameron vowed to block any moves for London estuary airport.

London’s Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson today criticised the coalition government’s plans for housing benefit, labelling it a “Kosovo-style social cleansing of London”. Johnson’s criticisms mark another dispute in the space of a week between the London Mayor and the prime minister – after David Cameron vowed to block any moves for London estuary airport.

Watch Boris’s interview with BBC London News:

Mr Johnson said he would “resist any attempt” to recreate a London where rich and poor cannot live together.

He said:

“The last thing we want to have in our city is a situation such as Paris where the less well-off pushed out to the suburbs…People will always cry and say that I am at war with David Cameron, Iain Duncan Smith and his officials.

“What we will not see and we will not accept any kind of Kosovo-style social cleansing of London…On my watch, you are not going to see thousands evicted from the place where they have been living and have put down roots.”

London Councils estimates that 82,000 families will be affected by the changes to housing benefit. Johnson is opting for a different approach to Cameron, who has thus-far stuck to his ‘tough man making the tough decisions’ posture. It’s clear that Johnson’s remarks annoyed the prime minister – his spokesman took issue with what Boris had to say, and the way he said it.

The spokesman said:

“The prime minister does not agree with what Boris Johnson has said or indeed the way he said it. He thinks the policy is the right one.”

Previously, Johnson called Cameron’s theory on the Broken Society “piffle“, vowed to protect police numbers in London and has strongly attacked the 50p tax rate, which Cameron has maintained. With two years of his term remaining, and another five years before a general election, it will be interesting to see how the pair’s relationship develops, and if they can ever get along?

19 Responses to “Boris takes aim at Cameron with talk of “Kosovo-style social cleansing””

  1. jaded

    RT @leftfootfwd: Boris takes aim at Cameron with talk of "Kosovo-style social cleansing": http://bit.ly/965LKJ

  2. Ma

    RT @leftfootfwd: Boris takes aim at Cameron with talk of "Kosovo-style social cleansing": http://bit.ly/965LKJ

  3. vittorio bini

    RT @leftfootfwd: Boris takes aim at Cameron with talk of "Kosovo-style social cleansing": http://bit.ly/965LKJ

  4. Jade Constable

    RT @leftfootfwd: Boris takes aim at Cameron with talk of "Kosovo-style social cleansing": http://bit.ly/965LKJ

  5. James Mills

    RT @leftfootfwd: Boris takes aim at Cameron with talk of "Kosovo-style social cleansing": http://bit.ly/965LKJ

  6. Shamik Das

    Boris takes aim at Cameron with talk of "Kosovo-style social cleansing": http://bit.ly/965LKJ writes Liam Thompson on @leftfootfwd

  7. mark wright

    RT @JamesMills1984: RT @leftfootfwd: Boris takes aim at Cameron with talk of "Kosovo-style social cleansing": http://bit.ly/965LKJ

  8. Johanna Thomas-Corr

    RT @leftfootfwd: Boris takes aim at Cameron with talk of "Kosovo-style social cleansing": http://bit.ly/965LKJ

  9. Damon Holmes

    RT @leftfootfwd: Boris takes aim at Cameron with talk of "Kosovo-style social cleansing": http://bit.ly/965LKJ

  10. Marcus A. Roberts

    RT @leftfootfwd: Boris takes aim at Cameron with talk of "Kosovo-style social cleansing": http://bit.ly/965LKJ

  11. Anon E Mouse

    Boris Johnson has already said this was taken out of context and that was before 1600 today on the BBC.

    Since this article was published at 1621 can it be fair to assume that the writer is being deceitful and dishonest?

    Listening to the piece the main point that came out was that Johnson wants to stop greedy landlords fleecing people with over high rents.

    Once again Labour seem to be supporting greedy landlords rights to rip off the housing benefits system for their own selfish ends.

    More Labour unfairness to add the list it seems…

  12. Eddy Anderson

    This is typical Boris strategy: present as bumbling fool in order to an astute bit of politicking.

    It’s only been a few months since the Tories came in and they’re already losing popularity. Imagine where they’ll be in two years, at the mayoral election? If Boris doesn’t distance himself from David Cameron, he’s going to be pushed out by an angry electorate.

    It’s essentially posturing, but it’s clever. Boris is now the friend of London–despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.

  13. Rob Adamson

    RT @leftfootfwd: Boris takes aim at Cameron with talk of "Kosovo-style social cleansing": http://bit.ly/965LKJ

  14. Wendy Maddox

    RT @leftfootfwd: Boris takes aim at Cameron with talk of "Kosovo-style social cleansing": http://bit.ly/965LKJ

  15. Katrina Gilman

    RT @leftfootfwd: Boris takes aim at Cameron with talk of "Kosovo-style social cleansing": http://bit.ly/965LKJ

  16. James Mills

    RT @markwrightuk88: RT @JamesMills1984: RT @leftfootfwd: Boris takes aim at Cameron with talk of "Kosovo-style social cleansing": http://bit.ly/965LKJ

  17. Mr. Sensible

    Eddie, I too think the local elections have something to do with it.

  18. Housing will define the London Mayoral election | Left Foot Forward

    […] has been no mitigation of the “Kosovo-style social cleansing” – to use Johnson’s own words – that will result from their housing benefit […]

  19. Housing will define the London Mayoral election | Red Brick

    […] has been no mitigation of the “Kosovo-style social cleansing” – to use Johnson’s own words – that will result from their housing benefit policies […]

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