Boris Johnson: We Ask The Questions
Such as, 'How will you cut crime?' and 'What is your favourite joke'
Monday 28 April 2008
Why do you want to be Mayor?
So that I can be the leader who finally gets to grips with the odious gang culture that claimed the lives of 27 kids last year. I want to champion Londoners' right to decent transport, good housing, and a clean, green city.
What is the best thing about London, and the worst?
Its sheer variety. It is exciting and exhilarating to live at a confluence of cultures. The worst thing is the sense of grim inevitability that greets every Tube delay, every traffic jam, every housing issue, and sadly every violent crime.
What single achievement are you most proud of in your life?
It is yet to come. I will be immensely proud to serve Londoners if I become Mayor.
What is your favourite thing to do in London during your day off?
If it's sunny, I like having a picnic in one of London's parks – probably Greenwich or Battersea. Just muck around with the kids, that kind of thing.
What difference will you make?
I will sweep the secrets and subterfuge from City Hall and create a new era of honesty and accountability.
What will you do to improve the transport infrastructure?
Bendy buses must go. They encourage fare evasion to the tune of £45m a year. On the Tube the priority should be making the quality of the passenger experience rise as fast as the cost has in recent years. I will introduce a free bike-hire scheme and work to improve river services.
What will you do for cyclists and pedestrians?
The bike hire scheme, and I will increase a visible police presence on the streets, which should encourage people to walk more.
Are falling house prices good or bad news for Londoners?
House still have to fall considerably for many first-time buyers to be able to afford a home in the capital. If I am elected as Mayor, I will help them by releasing brownfield land held by the GLA estate to deliver up to 40,000 homes. I'll also work with boroughs to build 50,000 affordable homes.
Where will you focus your efforts to cut crime?
On driving down bureaucracy and allow the police to get back on patrol. I will employ an extra 1,500 police officers. I will also wage a campaign against the casual disorder and incivility that leads to more serious crime.
How would you ensure greater ethnic harmony in London?
I'll celebrate the great variety of cultures and promote understanding, integration and harmony.
What will you do to ensure that London retains its dominance of the world's financial markets in these difficult economic times?
I will fight the government over-regulation that threatens to turn businesselsewhere; I will crack down on all types of business crime; I'll communicate with businesses through summits; and I'll ensure that our infrastructure makes London an attractive place to do business.
What is your favourite joke?
What do you call a deer with no eyes? No idea.
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