“I’ll tell you what makes me angry – lefty crap,” he thunders in response. Like? “Well, like spending £20,000 on a dinner at the Dorchester for Sinn Fein!”
(Boris Johnson interviewed by Jemima Khan in the New Statesman, 9 Feb, 2012)
In a letter released yesterday, Mr Johnson, who has fallen behind in the polls after months during which he enjoyed a comfortable lead, apologised for the New Statesman row, but claimed the issue had been exploited to suggest he had anti-Irish feelings.
“There has been real and admirable progress in the fight against any lingering anti-Irish sentiment in London and it is deeply upsetting that people have alleged that I harbour such feelings,” he told Catherina Casey, who chairs the city’s St Patrick’s Day Advisory Forum.
The issue of Mr Johnson’s relationship with London’s Irish has emerged again this week, days before the City Hall-funded St Patrick Day’s parade to Trafalgar Square, as it emerged that the mayor, yet again, is not planning to attend.