The New Statesman’s rolling politics blog


Boris's expenses gibe at Cameron

London mayor mocks Cameron's claim for wisteria trimming

Channel 4 has just launched a smart new website on political cliques, Who Knows Who, to tie in with its screening of When Boris Met Dave on Saturday.

The site offers perhaps the fullest guide yet to the former members of the Bullingdon Club, whose idea of a fun night out was memorably described by Evelyn Waugh as beating foxes with champagne bottles.

The Boris/Cameron relationship came under scrutiny again at the Spectator parliamentary awards, where, in his uproarious speech, Lord Mandelson declared that both he and Boris "have an overwhelming ambition to do everything we can to undermine David Cameron".

Now the Guardian's eagle-eyed Simon Hoggart has identified a possible gibe by Boris at Cameron earlier in the afternoon. In his speech, Boris hailed MPs for distracting the public from bankers' extravagant bonuses with their profligate expense claims. He added that, with all the awards they win these days, they would soon need to claim for trophy cabinets on their "additional costs allowance". Indeed, he went on, the cabinets would grow so full that they'd damage walls. MPs would need to buy wisteria plants to cover the unsightly damage.

In an apparently obscure remark, he added: "It would be necessary to add a wisteria trimmer to the bill." The only MP to claim for wisteria trimming? David Cameron.

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