DAVID CAMERON is set to block plans to let fellow Tory Boris Johnson have control over housing in London, in retaliation for the London Mayor accusing the government of “Kosovo-style social cleansing”.
Popular on LondonNet
The Tory tit-for-tat gathered pace today with news that Cameron’s Downing Street office had told Johnson “to start thinking before yak-yakking”.
Government insiders quoted in the Tory-supporting Daily Telegraph said that Johnson’s “outburst should be ringing alarm bells” and that ministers are now to look again at an earlier idea to let London’s mayor take over the role of the Homes and Communities Agency.
Like the opposition Labour Party, Johnson is worried that his own party’s plans for slashing housing benefit will result in lower income Londoners being forced out of large areas of the capital, especially in central London.
“We will not accept any kind of Kosovo-style social cleansing of London,” said Johnson last week.
Cameron and Johnson have known each other since their days at Eton College and Oxford University, where both were members of the notorious drinking and vandalism society, the Bullingdon Club.
However, rumours of Johnson coveting Cameron’s job as Tory leader and PM have surfaced regularly. He also appears to enjoy the role of maverick and once said he likes to “put the dynamite under [his] own tram tracks, derail [him]self, see what happens”.
Boris v. Dave – The War by the Shore (of the Thames)
So, if the current spat turned physical, which smooth-talking posh bloke would come out on top?
Weighing in at 16 stone, Boris carries three stone more than his right-wing rival (both figures from 2008), so would likely pack the heftier punch, but at 6’0″ Dave is the taller of the pair by two inches, so would probably own the longer reach.
Therefore, Cameron would be advised to use his jab to fend off his opponent, while the London Mayor’s best bet would be to keep his head down while waiting for a chance to land a knock-out blow.
By going early with surprise shots straight to Cameron’s body, Johnson won the first round, but risked opening himself up for the counter attack in subsequent rounds, today clinched by the Prime Minister.
Expect Boris to go back into his shell for a while, before launching a haymaker towards the end of the fight, say when Dave’s coalition is in trouble, or when the Tories lose the next election.
Warning: both fighters are prone to cuts.