Johnson made a barnstorming address to the party faithful at a fringe meeting at this week’s Conservative Party conference.
He began in characteristically colourful language, railing against the ‘gigantic bat-eared Labour spin doctors who will be waiting to twist and distort our message’. He told delegates: ‘They will be trying to hang on by their fingernails to the radiators and we must not let them.’
He later returned to the theme, saying he would ‘get rid of some of the 173 spin doctors and PR people who are listening in to every word of this speech so they can distort it’.
Johnson also pledged to abolish mayor Ken Livingstone’s monthly newspaper, The Londoner, dismissing it as a ‘Stalinist freesheet’.
A spokesperson for the Greater London Authority responded: ‘It is not true to say that there are 173 members of staff in the mayor’s press office. There are, in fact, only 15.’
She defended The Londoner, saying people wanted to hear directly from the mayor.