Johnson attacks Assembly's 'invertebrate jellies' - video

Boris Johnson 250213

London mayor hits out at political opponents as they attempt to pull budget debate stunt

LAST UPDATED AT 16:00 ON Mon 25 Feb 2013

BORIS JOHNSON today labelled his political oponents on the London Assembly "great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies" after they attempted to throw him out of a budget meeting.

The Assembly had been due to grill the London mayor about his £16.5 billion budget for 2013/14 for two hours. But when the Conservative mayor's deputy, Victoria Borwick, who is also an Assembly member, failed to show up for the opening statement, Labour, Green and Liberal Democrat members realised that without her they had a two-thirds majority and could use it to block a controversial 7p-a-week council tax cut proposed by Johnson.

But they needed to act quickly - skipping the chance to question the mayor about his budget and moving straight to a vote.

When Labour chair Jennette Arnold told the mayor that Assembly members had no questions for him, he was incredulous. Johnson leant back in his chair and asked: "Are you saying they're abdicating their duty to scrutinise me? Are you saying they haven't the guts to put questions to me? Great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies. That's it. They don't want to ask me any questions."

Before they could move to a ballot, however, Borwick arrived in the nick of time, as The Times put it, and Johnson's budget was duly passed.

A spokesperson for Johnson said later: "The mayor thought that this was an important opportunity for the Assembly members to question him about the budget. He was disappointed that they chose not to use that time and to score party political points instead."

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.

Read next

Oscars 2013 best actors 250213
OSCARS: Top winners at 85th Academy Awards