'Hi Nick, it's Boris here' - London Mayor calls Nick Clegg's radio show to demand ministers get out of 'their posh limos'

 

London Mayor Boris Johnson ambushed Nick Clegg's radio show today urging him to get his Cabinet colleagues "out of their posh limos" and on to public transport.

Mr Johnson, who pre-recorded the message, was posing as a caller from Islington on the Lib Dem leader's weekly radio phone-in for LBC 97.3.

During the call he demanded more spending on London's transport system.

Mr Clegg, appearing on his weekly phone-in show, insisted the coalition Government had cut spending on ministerial cars by around 70% and challenged the Conservative Mayor in his turn to make use of billions of pounds worth of Treasury guarantees for infrastructure projects.

In the message, Mr Johnson said: "Hi Nick, it's Boris here from Islington.

"I just want to ask you when are you going to get all those Government ministers out of their posh limos and onto public transport like everybody else?

"How can we possibly expect Government to vote for increases in infrastructure spending which we need in this city and upgrading the Tube, which we all need, when they sit in their chauffeur-driven limousines - paid for by the taxpayer - rather than getting down on public transport with the rest of us?

"Nick, get them out of their limos! Boris, over and out."

Mr Clegg had clearly not been expecting the Mayor's call but immediately recognised his voice.

Told that Mr Johnson was not actually on the line, but had pre-recorded his message, the Deputy Prime Minister responded: "That's easy for him, isn't it?"

The Liberal Democrat leader added: "Boris, if you're listening - and I suspect he isn't - I think we have actually cut the amount of taxpayer money which is used to pay for the cars and everything for ministers by, I think, about 70%. We have massively slashed it and changed it.

"Clearly, ministers - myself included - drive in cars, but not all the time. I am about to jump into a train to go up to Sheffield this afternoon.

"I think the fact we have cut the bill we inherited from Labour for ministerial cars by, I think, around 70% is a big step in the right direction."

Mr Clegg told Mr Johnson he was "completely with him" on the issue of infrastructure spending and said that Chancellor George Osborne had made guarantees available to enable big projects to go ahead.

"We should, wherever we can, find whatever available money we can to invest in housing, in transport and in energy, and the kinds of infrastructure we need to create jobs today and help the the economy in the future.

"We have got Europe's largest infrastructure project - Crossrail - here in London. George Osborne and the Treasury, to be fair to them, have offered £15 billion worth of Treasury guarantees to get infrastructure projects going in London.

"My challenge to Boris is - Is he going to use the Treasury guarantees offered by this coalition Government for infrastructure projects to help Londoners?"

Hearing that Mr Johnson would himself be appearing on the programme with host Nick Ferrari next week, Mr Clegg said: "Tell him to get out of his limo and get the infrastructure projects we are offering moving."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
The teaser trailer has provoked more questions than answers
filmBut what is Bond's 'secret' that Moneypenny is talking about?
Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss