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UK Politics

Revealed: what the people really think of Boris Johnson


Busy, busy is the life of London's Mayor, Boris Johnson, as is revealed by a catalogue of emails to and from the Mayor's office.

Most of the correspondence released yesterday after a Freedom of Information request consists of emails from the Mayor regretfully turning down requests to make public appearances.

He also has to answer queries about issues as varied as the rights of street buskers, or signalling failures on the London underground, or why someone had a disappointing day at Wimbledon.

Sometimes, however, that clogged-up diary may have served as a convenient excuse. For instance, it is tempting to speculate whether it was really "not possible" for the Mayor to take part in a skydive with the Red Devils – or whether he just did not fancy falling 6,000ft from a plane.

The emails also give an insight into contrasting reactions Mr Johnson provokes. One mother credited him personally with having cleared London's streets of drunks and the homeless, and got all the trains and buses to run on time after only four months.

By contrast, another member of the public wanted him to resign, because he was a "bad mayor" despite being "clever and funny".

All the emails released yesterday were sent to or from the Mayor's office during three weeks in September-October 2008, September 2010, and July 2011.

Dear Boris... the mayor's inbox

* "So you think the recent calamitous behaviour by your 'banker' pals is forgivable. Your position is clear – big city toff who could not care less about hospital workers, refuse collectors & ordinary working people."

* "I have come to admire your straight and to the point believable attitude that you put across with the greatest of ease and in such a fun fashion. I look at our local politicians here in Northern Ireland and could weep."

* "I took my son and the German exchange student who was staying with us to London. Everywhere was clean, no rubbish, there were no drunks on the tube, there were no homeless people sleeping in the doorways, no "lack of care in the community" folks wandering aimlessly (I have no idea where they have gone). The tube, the double decker red bus and the train all ran with supreme efficiency. Our German was VERY impressed. (I was stunned because I know what it was like under KEN.)

* "Why do I have confidence in you but not the Conservative Party? There is a smugness without any real substance."

... and a Boris rejection

* "Thank you for your kind offer for me to join the Red Devils Freefall team for a tandem skydive. Much as I appreciate the invitation, it is not possible for me to accept."