ANDREW Boff may not have been a front-line government minister but he proved to be a lively speaker at the Conservatives local election manifesto launch on Wednesday. To ensure everybody knew exactly who he was – he’s the leader of the Tories at the City Hall – he reminded the room of how he helped keep London Mayor Boris Johnson in check.
He said: “It was our idea to have driverless trains on the tube. Every time the RMT has industrial action people like the idea of driverless trains even more. Officials said they couldn’t do it – but after years banging away, it is what is going to happen. That’s the future.”
At which point eyes darted across the room to Gospel Oak candidate Peter Horne, an affable long-server in the local branch who used to be a councillor himself… and a tube driver by trade.
Afterwards, Peter, who had given up the chance to watch his Chelsea team play in a European Champions League semi-final to be there, shrugged and told me that he’d be retired by the time Boff’s future arrived. Even then, Peter said, it wouldn’t actually be as easy as their guest thought due to the bendy, arching nature of our underground station platforms and the difficulty in fitting Jubilee-line style double doors to them.