London Mayor Boris Johnson has been forced to cancel a number of public events he had planned in the West Bank because of security concerns after he made strong remarks about the supporters of an Israeli goods boycott.
The mayor is on a trade trip to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories and his comments about the “foolish” backers of the ban being a “bunch of corduroy-jacketed lefty academics” have not been received very well in certain quarters.
Johnson said that two of his three upcoming meetings had been cancelled by organisers after security advice from officials. One meeting with a Palestinian youth group was called off after they called mayor´s remarks on the boycott “inaccurate, misinformed and disrespectful.”
Johnson´s meeting with the Palestinian prime minister, Rami Hamdallah, will however go ahead.
The mayor told reporters that “there’s some stuff going on on social media apparently, so rather depressingly we can’t do the youth forum and one other meeting.”
It is hardly the first time comments from Johnson have been received controversially. One example in 2007 saw the London Mayor stoking outrage in Portsmouth after calling the city “one of the most depressed towns in southern England, a place that is arguably too full of drugs, obesity, underachievement and Labour MPs”