Boris distances himself from coalition to maintain poll lead

BORIS Johnson has distanced himself from the unpopular Conservative-led government, saying he opposes its policies on charity tax relief and fuel duty.

Confirming that he will seek to change the proposed cap on charitable tax relief, the mayor said: “There’s a lot of rich people in this City, they’ve damn well got to contribute more to London and they’ve got to contribute more charitably.”

Johnson would also like to go further than chancellor George Osborne in cutting fuel prices.

Johnson’s comments to The House magazine were published last night after a new poll gave him an eight point lead over Ken Livingstone. Research by ComRes gives Johnson a 54 to 46 lead once second preference votes are taken into account.

But shadow chancellor Ed Balls told City A.M. that the contest was not yet over: “There’s only one poll that matters and that’s the vote next Thursday.”

“A year ago the polls wrote Ken off. But suddenly the Budget is very unpopular, it’s backfired and I would think Boris is wondering how he got into this mess.”