This week saw the rivalry between the men boil over after the two went head to head on a London radio station. The row began during hustings on the radio station LBC when Ken accused the Mayor of using the same tax arrangements as him so he could avoid paying income tax on his media earnings.
According to the Daily Mail, Boris was left ‘red-faced’ and ‘utterly furious’ by the allegations, which he called ‘bare-faced lies’. On the radio show, Boris said: “I have never used a company to minimise my tax” and, later in the day, took the unprecedented step of releasing a statement and a letter from his accountants rubbishing Ken’s claims.
The statement read: “The real point is not about my tax arrangements. It is about the hypocrisy of a man who for years has railed against those who use special arrangements to reduce their tax and who has then been caught â€“ bang to rights â€“ doing the very same thing himself.”
The letter from his accountant Robert Maples, clearly stated: ‘My firm has acted as Boris’s accountants since the 1990s. All of his freelance earnings have been included in his tax returns and subjected to income tax at the appropriate rates.’
Bozza was apparently so incensed by Ken’s claims on the LBC show that he confronted his rival in a lift and repeatedly called him a ‘f*@%ing liar’. Sources reported in the Mail state that ‘Mr Johnson was ‘visibly shaking with anger’ and was ‘right up in Mr Livingstone’s face’ when he began swearing.’
The whole thing could, of course, prove to be a huge own goal for the Labour candidate. With Bozza now proving that he pays all the tax he owes he’s clearly won this particular debate. Indeed Ken has previously called tax avoiders ‘rich b******s’ which rather suggests his election policy is based on the old motto ‘do what I say, not what I do…’