Boris backs City bankers

LONDON Mayor Boris Johnson yesterday vowed to defend the banking community, which he said is viewed as a &ldquo;leper colony&rdquo; by the public, warning that the City&rsquo;s role in bringing the UK economy back to health will prove critical.<br /><br />Johnson, speaking at the Conservative party conference in Manchester, said he knew how far he was &ldquo;out on a limb&rdquo; in sticking up for the City.<br /><br />But he said: &ldquo;Never forget, all you would-be banker bashers, that the leper colony in the City of London produces nine per cent of UK GDP... and taxes that pay for roads and schools and hospitals across this country.&rdquo;<br /><br />The Mayor, also called on the Tories to abolish Labour&rsquo;s new 50 per cent income tax band if they come to power next year. He said high marginal rates of taxation &ldquo;only serve to drive away talent&rdquo;.