James Forsyth

Boris v Dave, this time it’s serious

Boris v Dave, this time it’s serious
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Make no mistake about it, Boris Johnson’s rhetorical assault on the coalition’s housing benefit plan is a direct challenge to David Cameron’s authority. The two best-known Conservatives in the country are now involved in a battle that only one of them can win.


Boris told BBC London this morning:

"What we will not see and 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."

UPDATE: Boris has blinked. He is out with a statement saying he has been misinterpreted and that he was trying to say the policy won’t lead to social cleansing. That’s certainly not how Downing Street understood his remarks. But there will be relief that Boris is now back on the reservation.