Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Boris's Cunning Battle for London's Future

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Boris's Cunning Battle for London's Future

Article excerpt

BORIS Johnson's tensions with the Treasury over Crossrail highlight both the threats to London's transport upgrades during the present round of cuts and his own difficult relationship with his party's leadership. Today the Mayor has denied reports that he threatened to resign if London did not get Crossrail: he says he will "almost certainly" stand again in 2012. Neverthless, that denial is unlikely to be of much comfort to the Prime Minister.

The Mayor has previously defended the Crossrail settlement robustly. The Heathrow-Stratford rail link is vital to London's future economic growth. Yet despite committing to the project in principle, both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor have stopped short of guaranteeing funding for it. Yet to force Crossrail to scale back its reach or number of stations now would be very short-sighted. We hope Mr Johnson takes a similarly firm line in defending the budget for vital Tube upgrades.

The danger for David Cameron is two-fold. …

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