Press conferences (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
November 18, 2009
Question By: 
James Cleverly
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Mr Mayor, I think one of the things that the Members opposite particularly do not like is that when you go out and about to various parts of London, the media is forced to interact with people outside Zone 1 and, uncomfortably for the Members opposite, sometimes those people that they meet in outer London express views which are contrary to the slightly central London orientated views that would otherwise be expressed if they only interacted with you in central London. I think it is really, really important that you, Assembly Members and the media get the full range of London's views and that your actions are examined through that filter. I would ask you to give the commitment that you will continue to make yourself available to all Londoners, not just Zone 1 and that you reflect the views of all Londoners, not just the Londoners that live in Zone 1.

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Press conferences (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for Press conferences (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

James, I think you are absolutely right and I invite Assembly Members who wish to come to these press conferences across London - not just in outer London but throughout London boroughs, inner and outer - throughout the week, and we can continue this conversation there.

Tony Arbour (AM): Isn't the best advice on this, Mr Mayor, the advice which Shakespeare gives when he says, I think it is in Henry IV Part 1, that you should, 'Imitate the sun ... Being wanted, he may be more wonder'd at'? I can tell you that your visit to New Malden last week was the first visit by any Mayor, ever, and the triumph that was visible in the faces of the residents of New Malden as you walked down the main street in the rain - where the sun hovered over your head but it rained over everyone else's! - was an absolute joy to behold. However, if you were to do it every day the gloss would wear off!

I think the same must be said in relation to the proposition which has just been put to you, that you should constantly dance to the tune of the press. We want to see you out in the suburbs and, by golly, the reward that you receive - and I have to say the reward that me and my friends receive - when you do that is something wonderful.

Jennette Arnold (Deputy Chair): There was not a question there, was there?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): You call to mind, I think it is the Poet Horace, who says somewhere in one of his more emetic passages that the sun smiles more sweetly te duce, Caesar. Anyway. Thank you for that extraordinary testimonial. It is completely undeserved.

The basic point is a good one. I have just seen some statistics here. I seem to have done 700 interviews since May 2008, 1,000 public visits - loads and loads of stuff. I am out there talking to people. Journalists would really benefit and would enjoy getting on public transport, coming out to see what is going on and doing the story live from the spot.