Conservative Diary

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Boris warns Coalition that it would be "madness" to stop Crossrail; "insane" to stop funding affordable housing; and "barking" to cut police numbers

IMG_4459 There is a place for receptions for single interest groups of the kind held by David Cameron for the gay community but Boris Johnson has launched a series of eleven events that aim to bring London's geographical communities together.

IMG_4748 Although respectful of so-called rainbow communities (the Mayor attended last Saturday's Pride march for gay Britons), Boris Johnson described last night's reception at City Hall as the 'Big Society' in action. Entrepreneurs, churchleaders, police commanders, charity leaders and local councillors mixed with celebrities from Merton, Southwark and Lambeth including Levi Roots, Peter Tatchell, Camila Batmanghelidjh and Doreen Lawrence.

The Mayor used the reception to celebrate the fact that 10,000 knives had been removed from London street's by initiatives he had led. Imagine, he said, if just 1% of those knives had been used in anger.

He also warned the Coalition government not to cut funding to London too deeply in the latest sign of his determination to be seen as London Mayor first and a Conservative second. He said that it would be "madness" to stop Crossrail; "insane" to cut funding for affordable housing; and "barking" to cut police numbers when Londonoers might need them most. He said that the government must not starve London of funding. That funding is the fuel for what is the motor engine of the whole nation's economy, he warned.

Boris believes that, unlike Whitehall under Labour, he has spent two years cutting fat from London government and there needs to be acknowledgment of London's special situation.

Tim Montgomerie


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