Boris Johnson calls Murdoch cash claim 'f***ing bollocks'

Boris Johnson

London Mayor uses colourful language on TV but remains well ahead in the polls

LAST UPDATED AT 12:08 ON Tue 1 May 2012

BORIS JOHNSON may be well ahead of Ken Livingstone in the opinion polls as the race to become London Mayor enters its final hours, but he still appears to be sensitive to media scrutiny - particularly about claims he sought to obtain sponsorship money from the Murdoch empire during the phone-hacking scandal.

When the subject came up on a lunchtime TV bulletin, Johnson turned the airwaves blue as he dismissed the claims from BBC London's political editor Tim Donovan as "f***ing bollocks".

The Independent explains: "Mr Johnson’s latest brush with controversy followed a report by Mr Donovan which focused on the Tory candidate's meetings with senior News International figures in 2010 shortly after he had dismissed the News of the World phone hacking scandal in front of the London Assembly as 'codswallop'."

The Guardian also points out that Johnson was the chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority when Scotland Yard was looking into News International.

However, the mayor gave short shrift to the question about his conduct.

"I don't know of any discussions going on about that but what I can tell you is that I think it's right to work with the private sector to get contributions that will be for the benefit of London," he said.

"I'm very proud that over the last four years we've got more than £100m in sponsorship that I've raised for this city... You've got to get this on the air! Come on, this is the most important thing. Stuff Donovan and his f***ing bollocks."

It's not the first time that Johnson has employed colourful language during the London mayoral campaign. A month ago, Johnson confronted Ken Livingstone in a lift and called him a “f***ing liar” over claims the Labour candidate made about his tax arrangements.

Johnson's campaign appears to be going well ahead of Thursday's vote. According to The Times today he has a 12-point advantage over Labour's Ken Livingstone. · 

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