Boris Johnson and the heckling historian

BORIS Johnson returned to the neighbourhood of his famous coffee house address of January 2010 this morning, urging West Hampstead to push Conservative candidate Chris Philp over the line in Hampstead and Kilburn next week. This time he stopped at the Alice House bar with Philp and Damian Green in West End Lane, the three standing on chairs and taking questions from Conservative party supporters members of the public who Boris knew by name. It was, as it always with Boris, quite a scene.

Adding to the colour of it all was a single heckler, who from behind the bush of photographers, journalists and press aides cupped his hands to his face (see pic above) and piped: ‘Boris.. Boris.. Why are the Conservatives offering tax cuts for millionaires?” The man who didn’t get his question answered is Professor David Cesarani, the respected Jewish historian.

Boris has dealt with a heckle or two, and knows the routine. There is, however, at this stage no hard evidence that he actually employs people in aviator sunglasses to stand around next to his barrackers looking handbag-horrified.

Johnson peered through his fringe and over onto the pavement and then cackled: ‘That’s David Cesarani, that’s a left wing ¬†historian’.

Encouraged by the clatter of laughter, our Mayor of London went on wagging his finger: ‘There is a multi-million left wing historian, a man who has made a forune out of reporting poverty and deprivation of other people without lifting a finger to do anything about it himself… unlike the Conservative Party which has been working flat out.”

Cesarani frowned and then looked a bit non-plussed at the harsh tone of Johnson’s comments. He retreated to the other side of the road. The sad thing was, we never really got an answer to his question…

* You can see Boris getting overexcited about Cesarani’s work here (it comes after Chris Philp’s ‘give us a cheer West Hampstead’ showman introduction, at about ¬†6’56” )

* @whampstead blogs on same event here..

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