Shamik Das


Saturday, July 05, 2008

EXCLUSIVE: Ken roasts Boris over Lewis debacle

Boris Johnson and Ray Lewis

KEN LIVINGSTONE last night mocked London Mayor Boris Johnson for his bungled handling of the Ray Lewis affair.

Lewis was forced to stand down yesterday following fresh revelations about his past, namely that he had never been a magistrate.

The controversy follows the resignation of another of Johnson's key advisers last month, when the Mayor's director of political strategy James McGrath was involved in a race row.

When asked about the prospect of black Londoners leaving the capital because of outrage at Johnson's racist past, McGrath sneered "well, let them go if they don't like it here".

Shocking language, even more so when one considers McGrath is himself an immigrant, one of John Howard's boorish, uncultured Australians who speak before thinking; in an ironic twist, he's the one who's now left the country.

Shoulder to shoulder: Johnson and Lewis in happier times    Hat's the way to do it: Red Ken in his eighties pomp

Livingstone was speaking at a fundraising dinner in his spiritual homeland of Brent, where he was the Member of Parliament for Brent East from 1987 to 2001 before becoming mayor.

"I mean, it took the best part of eight years before I had to remove two of my advisers," said Livingstone. "It's taken only eight weeks for Boris to have to do the same.

"As for Ray [Lewis], well, who could forget whether or not they've been made a JP?"

The allegations against Ray Lewis
Revealed: Boris Johnson's racism

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