The spirit of David Bowie can beat Isis, says Boris Johnson

'It is hard to think of anything that would be more repugnant to the morons of Isil than the Bowie phenomenon,' Boris Johnson said in his final speech to London Government leaders

The spirit of David Bowie can defeat Isis, Boris Johnson has suggested as he paid tribute to the late singer in typical style in his final speech to the annual London Government dinner. 

The Mayor of London, who is stepping down in May after eight years in charge of the capital, said no one was more deserving of being labelled a "genius" as Bowie, whose death on Sunday triggered an outpouring of tributes and grief. 

He said Bowie's individualism and eccentricity was the kind of characteristic that drives modern London, adding: "It is hard to think of anything that would be more repugnant to the morons of Isil than the Bowie phenomenon."

On Friday Bowie's family released a statement saying they were "overwhelmed" by the "love and support shown throughout the world" to the late rocker. 

Writing on Bowie's Facebook page, the family announced they are currently making arrangements for a private ceremony celebrating the "memory of their beloved husband, father and friend". 

His body was secretly cremated in New York without any friends or his relatives present - a final wish of Bowie's. He reportedly wanted "to go without any fuss". 

Paying tribute to Bowie during his speech to London Government leaders at Mansion House on Thursday, Mr Johnson said: "Think of that great Londoner who died this week amid an unexpected outpouring of global grief, a man who was born as Davy Jones from Brixton – and yet who reinvented himself as Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke and other characters and who was recognised as a genius.

"It is hard to think of anything that would be more repugnant to the morons of Isil than the Bowie phenomenon.

"And yet it is that willingness to encourage individualism, and eccentricity, and experiment, that is one of the main drivers of the genius of modern London.

"Where else would you find ginger-bearded hipsters selling Froot Loops for £3.80 per bowl? Where else but London would you find a restaurant where you are served in total darkness by blind waiters, the contention being that you will somehow taste your food better? 

"Where else would you find a cocktail bar in a public toilet?"

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