Johnson sets out tax cuts campaign

Boris Johnson has pitched himself as a tax-cutting Conservative as he entered the final week of his bid for re-election as Mayor of London.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, the Tory mayor said he would be trying to "bear down" on Londoners' expenses and that the capital had to be "tax competitive".

His comments come ahead of Thursday's mayoral election, which he insisted was "going down to the wire" with his Labour rival Ken Livingstone.

He also said he was prepared to have rows with Conservative ministers on behalf of London and made a barbed reference to Chancellor George Osborne - seen as a potential future rival for the Tory leadership - as "the jaws of death".

"I certainly think London needs to be tax competitive," he said.

"I've got to look what I can do to bear down on people's expenses... We've frozen council tax over four years, we'll have cut it by 10% in the next four years."

Demonstrating his willingness to take on the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition where it is in London's interests, Mr Johnson said: "We've saved Crossrail from the jaws of death - aka George Osborne.

"I don't mind having a row in Whitehall, I don't mind how much plaster comes off the ceiling, providing it's done in a robust and sensible way and London gets the money it needs."

He said the key values behind his bid for re-election were "freedom, democracy, taxpayer value and building up the sense of neighbourliness and duty towards each other".