Boris Johnson turned his back on the City this weekend in a bout of banker bashing that marked a sharp departure for the London mayor who has previously championed the Square Mile.
Johnson, who came out in favour of Britain leaving the European Union last month, said earlier today that investment banking bosses should be ignored in the run-up to the EU referendum on 23 June because of their role in the financial crisis.
“These, by the way, were the people who engineered the biggest financial disaster of the last century,” Johnson told the BBC’s Andrew Marr when asked about warnings from Goldman Sachs and HSBC executives that banks would move jobs and operations to continental Europe if Britain votes to leave the EU.
Today's comments contradicted earlier statements from the mayor, who wrote a column in the Daily Telegraph in 2012 under the headline: “Stop bashing the bankers – we have no future without them.”
“It is time for British politicians to say it loud and clear and in unison: we need bankers, my friends!” Johnson wrote at the time, before going on to endorse financial risk-taking: “We need bankers who are not just cautious, owlish Polonius figures. We need bankers who are willing to take punts and put their necks on the line.”