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Social cleansing

By October 29, 2010News

Eh, up. He’s been at it again.

Boris and Dave have got involved in another scrap, this time over housing benefit. The planned moves include a £400-a-week housing benefit cap for four-bedroom homes and a 10% reduction for the long-term unemployed. The Government estimates that 21,000 households will be affected by the cap on different size homes – 17,000 of them in London. Boris is concerned that poorer families will be driven from their homes and out of the centre of London.

In a BBC interview, the Mayor commented: “We will not accept any kind of Kosovo-style social cleansing of London. On my watch, you are not going to see thousands of families evicted from the place where they have been living and have put down roots. That is not what Londoners want to see, it’s not what we are going to accept.”

The comments resulted in a ‘firm rebuke’ from number Ten. “The Prime Minister doesn’t agree with what Boris Johnson has said or indeed the way he said it,” Mr Cameron’s spokesman said. “He thinks the policy is the right one and he doesn’t agree with the way (Mr Johnson) chose his words.”

Even Cleggy and Cable got in on the act. The Deputy Prime Minister said he too “very strongly” disagreed with Mr Johnson’s comments whilst Cable accused the mayor of using “inflammatory” language. “Simply using this dangerous language is seriously unhelpful, it’s distracting from the underlying problems and the fact is the Government has got to reform this,” he said. “As part of dealing with the public finances, we have got to get housing benefit under control because the budget was just escalating.”

Bozza insisted that his comments had been taken out of context. He stressed that his point was that London had ‘specific needs’ and that he and ministers were ‘continuing to negotiate a package of measures to ensure the changes were introduced in London with minimal problems’.


  • Clint Trigg says:

    i listened to this interview (it was on LBC actually not BBC). James O’brien the radio presenter was suggesting that if this policy went ahead then it would create ghettos and areas where only a specific class or type of person could /woud be able to live because of their economic circumstances. Whereas now you have very rich and very poor people living cheek by jowl in all areas of London which adds to and indeed creates London’s personality. He was suggesting that London would end up like Paris where there are suburbs around the edge that are 100% populated by the poor, immigrants and the underclasses. It was a topic of rich debate with lots of opinions. Boris came on directly after a woman who had suggested that social cleansing would definately take place and therefore was merely replying that he would not allow that to happen.

  • Chief Boriswatcher says:

    I think it was an interview with the lovely (sic) Vanessa Feltz on BBC London Radio, according to the BBC website.

    And when has the BBC ever been wrong?



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