Boris Johnson extorted some £90m for extra policing in London from George Osborne in returning for not causing mischief in his Daily Telegraph column during the Tory conference, it has been alleged.
Osborne, whose speech at the event coincided with Johnson’s column, is said to have called the London mayor three days before the conference in the autumn of 2011, telling him: “We just want a quiet conference. Nothing unexpected.”
Johnson apparently replied: “Hmm, funny you should say that. I’m just about to write my column for the Telegraph and I’m staring at a blank page.”
The London mayor reportedly inquired what Osborne’s price would be to guarantee no mischief on the day of the speech, Johnson having demanded a referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon – which changed voting rules in the EU and strengthened the European Parliament – at the Conservative conference two years prior.
Johnson allegedly then asked for £90m for extra policing in London, and by the time the phone call ended a package worth £93m had been agreed, which would prove useful to Johnson when he ran for another term as mayor in 2012.
The London mayor is then said to have joked: “That was the best-paid column ever.“
Michael Ashcroft, the Tory peer currently promoting a biography of prime minister David Cameron, made these claims in the third day of Call Me Dave’s serialisation in the Daily Mail.
Written in partnership with former Sunday Times hack Isabel Oakeshott, the biography has already alleged that prime minister David Cameron once put his penis into a dead pig’s mouth as part of an Oxford society initiation ritual.
Image Credit – Boris Johnson at hospital demo, March 2006 by John Hemming