New Boris outburst shows he's not the man for the job

The Mayor s sweary walk out at the House of Commons illustrated perfectly why Boris Johnson is liked by so many but is just not the right man for the job. Appearing before a cross-party group of MPs investigating why London s transport system was all but

The Mayor's sweary walk out at the House of Commons illustrated perfectly why Boris Johnson is liked by so many but is just not the right man for the job.

Appearing before a cross-party group of MPs investigating why London's transport system was all but paralysed by heavy snow at the beginning of February, Boris just could not give a straight answer to a straight question. Simple questions like what action had he taken between getting notice of the snow and it starting to fall, or what enquiries had he made as the decision was taken to cancel all the buses, were too tricky for the Mayor as he became angrier and angrier at his fellow politicians daring to ask such outrageous questions.

In the end, Boris answered the one question he'd spend the best part of an hour avoiding: what had he, as chair of Transport for London and Mayor of the UK's capital city, done when the heaviest snow for twenty years began to fall? "I observed it had started to snow", Boris told the Transport Select Committee, before picking up his bag and storming out.

Amusing as the whole episode was, London's economy lost an estimated �1.2bn during the snowfall, our entire bus fleet was withdrawn from service for the first time in its history and the City practically ground to a halt for two days, yet the Mayor's only direct involvement in the whole episode appears to have been to go on television to announce that the Congestion Charge would be waived for the day - despite the authorities advising against any car travel.


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No one can deny Boris is funny and eccentric. But London needs more from its Mayor - it needs someone in charge, on top of their brief, and awake at the wheel when extraordinary situations arise; not someone who walks away when the going gets tough.

Joanne McCartney

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Assembly Member for Enfield and Haringey

Greater London Authority

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