Boris Johnson avoids talking tennis by pulling on his sparring gloves

Gabriella Griffith
Boris Johnson doesn't pull his punches at the Coca-Cola Zero ParkLives event
It looks like the “will he, won’t he” tennis match between Boris Johnson and the Chernukhins (the Russian couple who paid £160,000 at a fundraiser to play BoJo and David Cameron) will go ahead, after Boris said he was going to get in training for it yesterday. Now we think we know how he’s getting in shape. A touch of boxing.
The mayor spent a good portion of yesterday playing sports in celebration of a new partnership with Coca-Cola, which will see Boris’ £500,000 investment into his FreeSport programme matched by the drinks giant. The aim is to get Londoners trying new sports and activities. “Whatever your age or ability, there is bound to be a sport or activity to suit, so give it a go,” he said.
Perhaps we’ll see bidders paying out to face Boris in the ring at next year’s fundraiser, once he’s polished off his left hook.
Hammerson chief executive David Atkins enjoyed a chance to stick the boot in to rival firm Land Securities yesterday. While discussing how the property company’s French retail assets were performing, Atkins responded that he’d rather “have a lunch in Marseilles overlooking the seas than in a quarry in Kent”. An unveiled dig at Land Securities with its newly acquired Bluewater shopping centre, just outside the M25. He went on to say they were tempted to ask Rob Noel, Land Sec’s chief exec, to be their valuer. Another sucker punch, given the suggestions Land Securities paid over the odds for Bluewater in a bid secure it from its rivals. The ball’s in Noel’s court now – too bad his investor call was last week, or we could see a proper match.
■ Anyone wondering what the boffins at Broadgate Mainland have been up to in their spare time? We reckon they’ve been watching Game of Thrones. We gather this from the Game of Thrones reference at the top of their rent report, released this morning. But in their haste to get a mention of GoT, however brief, into their rental analysis, they appear to have lost the point. The release announces Scotland to be “King of the North” due to its speedily rising rents. Why would rising rents make it the king? And how can a country be a king anyway? While we doubt their logic in throwing in a GoT reference, we’re keen to join in. “You know nothing, Broadgate Mainland, er, winter is coming.”

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