Boris tells Ken he's a 'f****** liar' in lift rant
Mayor of London takes Labour rival to task over tax claim after election debate on radio
TENSION boiled over in the London Mayoral race today after a hustings on LBC Radio, when Boris Johnson accused his electoral rival Ken Livingstone of being a "f****** liar" following a clash over their respective income tax arrangements.
The Guardian reports that the debate began in good spirits. All four main mayoral candidates - including Lib Dem Brian Paddick and the Green Party's Jenny Jones - arrived an hour early for the hustings, and Johnson jokingly handed his coat to Livingstone as if mistaking him for a member of staff.
But once the debate began the mood changed, with Livingstone telling listeners that he used exactly the same tax arrangements for his media earnings as Johnson.
Livingstone has been fighting off charges of hypocrisy following allegations that he paid corporation tax at 20 per cent on his earnings rather than income tax at 40 per cent by setting up a company called Silveta Ltd.
Pressed by a listener on why Livingstone thought hardworking Londoners would want a candidate who avoided his taxes, the Labour candidate suddenly turned on the mayor, accusing him of having "the same arrangements" for dealing with his media earnings as he had, insisting Johnson had used a company called Finland Station.
"Lies," replied an incensed Johnson, who went on: "I have never used a company to minimise my tax.
"There was a TV production company which I was briefly a director of but I certainly never... I have always paid full income tax."
Johnson had still not calmed down after the debate ended. In the lift on the way to a roof terrace to be photographed, in front of Paddick, Jones, and LBC's managing editor James Rea, a red-faced Johnson reportedly went "nose to nose" with Livingstone and told him three times over: "You are a f****** liar".
ITV reports that the mayor would not calm down and went on shouting "It's all f****** lies, it's all f****** lies".