Boris in hot water over Green arrest

By Alex Stevenson

Boris Johnson has found himself in trouble after giving incorrect evidence to the Commons’ home affairs committee over the Damian Green arrest.

The London mayor told the committee the first time he had contact with Conservative leader David Cameron on the day of the Tory MP’s arrest was at 15:00 GMT at Southwark Cathedral.

Committee chairman Keith Vaz has subsequently written to Mr Johnson claiming Mr Johnson told him afterwards he had made a mistake.

“You approached me and told me that you had contacted David Cameron earlier at 12 noon and you mentioned the words ‘Ladbroke Grove Station’,” Mr Vaz wrote.

“I would be grateful if you could confirm whether your initial evidence or your subsequent recollection is accurate.”

With a threat of recall for further evidence, Mr Vaz has requested a reply before noon tomorrow.

Mr Johnson, explaining why he had had only a brief discussion with Mr Cameron in Southwark Cathedral, raised eyebrows by claiming Downing Street had attempted to get him thrown off the front seat of a memorial service for Damilola Taylor.

“Gordon Brown decided it would be quite wrong for me to be sitting next to him, so I was moved somewhere else,” he said.

“The prime minister was appalled at the idea I might be sitting next to him and I was moved some distance from the front row. So any conversation that might have taken place between me and the leader of the opposition was made very perfunctory thanks to the sensitivies of our great leader.”

No 10 has denied this claim however. “That is categorically not true,” the prime minister’s spokesman said.

The London mayor delivered evidence to the committee, whether factually accurate or not, in his usual style.

After being first informed by Metropolitan police acting commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson that “something was up”, he described his reaction as: “I said, come on then, what’s up then? Gosh.”