Boris lashes out at banks and bonuses

AFTER Boris Johnson, by his own admission &ldquo;the last politician in the country willing to stick up for the bankers&rdquo;, finally turned his back on the industry yesterday in a blistering attack in his Telegraph column, the City must feel truly deserted.<br /><br />Of course, the Mayor himself claims this isn&rsquo;t a policy departure, merely a case of turning up the heat on the banks in an effort to help the sector save itself from damaging changes to regulation and taxation.<br /><br />That may be true; but regardless, his U-turn will dismay those bankers who felt like Boris was the last politician truly willing to stand up and fight for their rights without bowing to the tide of political feeling.<br /><br />Just last month, in an interview with City A.M., Boris claimed it is his &ldquo;job to be the champion of the City&rdquo;, while at the Tory party conference two weeks ago, the Mayor stood firm against the overriding message from his Tory cronies, saying: &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&hellip; and taxes that pay for roads and schools and hospitals across this country.&rdquo;<br /><br />A far cry indeed from yesterday&rsquo;s tirade, in which he labelled bankers as cockroaches &ldquo;scuttling through the nuclear blast of public disapproval&rdquo; and asked how any politician can be expected to oppose the idea of a windfall tax on profits &ldquo;when the banks refuse to learn&rdquo;. With comments such as these, it&rsquo;s time the City finds itself a new champion.