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Boris challenges David Cameron to follow his lead on cuts

A few weeks ago Boris Johnson was challenging George Osborne to abolish Labour's tax on bankers' bonuses.

Today he returns to the theme that he adopted at the party conference last year - namely that David Cameron must follow his example by cutting wasteful spending to deliver taxpayer value for money.

On the back of his second successive freeze of the GLA precept of the council tax, as we reported yesterday, he today lays down the gauntlet to David Cameron, insisting that it is a "fallacy" that you can't reduce spending while protecting front line services. 

The Daily Telegraph quotes the London mayor as saying:

“If you can cut £5 billion from the back rooms of Transport for London, imagine the savings that could be achieved across Whitehall. And if we can slash our expenses by being frugal, imagine the taxpayers’ money which could be spared in Central Government by cutting the trappings and perks of power.

"I am proud to have ended the relentless tax rises of my predecessor and prove that you really can get more for less if you spend wisely. What we've cut at City hall is waste, duplication, irrelevant or extravagant spending – nothing that harms Londoners on the front line. My budget proves that it's a fallacy to claim that you cannot cut waste without cutting front line services. We have proved the opposite.”

After recent suggestions that David Cameron was seeking to soften the line on reducing spending when he ruled out "swingeing cuts", it would appear that Boris Johnson's rhetoric is as robust as ever - and I imagine he will be prepared to repeat it over the coming months, even if it frustrates the party leadership.

Jonathan Isaby

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