Boris laments Underground “cocktail party”

New London mayor Boris Johnson says the drunken revelry seen before London Underground’s alcohol ban was “anthropologically misunderstood”.

Six stations had to be closed and 17 people were arrested on Saturday, the final day before Mr Johnson’s ban on alcoholic beverages on the tube came into force.

Speaking at City Hall, Mr Johnson compared the “cocktail party” to a “Celtic-style wake” marking “the long-overdue passing of a custom”.

“It was very sad that a few people got so wildly drunk,” he said. “I hope that in time people will see there has been a change on public transport. I think that in time this will become very effectively self-enforcing.”

Mr Johnson used his first press conference as mayor to voice concern about his relationship with Labour’s national government.

Current relations are “cordial but reserved,” he told “I want to make sure Londoners get the best possible deal.” Transport initiatives and support for projects like crossrail are vital to this, he continued.

“I will be making these points to the government very vehemently over the next few months.”

A specific issue where Mr Johnson may clash with Whitehall is on the maximum limit for terror suspects’ pre-charge detention, which the government is seeking to increase to 42 days in the counterterrorism bill.

Mr Johnson’s flat opposition could have implications for his relationship with the national government. The mayor has already made his views “very frank” in discussions with Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Ian Blair, he told reporters.

Other measures being considered by City Hall are allowing cyclists to cycle the wrong way down one-way streets, pushing forward with plans to scrap bendy buses and crack down on minor crime with a “zero-tolerance approach”.