Sunday, 8 June 2008

Boris Johnson libel claim over 'wine cellar' story

Boris Johnson was accused of libel yesterday after he claimed 100 bottles of fine wine had been found in his predecessors office.

The story was published in the Telegraph under the headline 'Boris Johnson uncovers 'secret wine cellar' in City Hall' and claimed that Johnson had discovered a horde of 100 bottles. 

Ken Livingstone was given no right of reply in the article but has since called the claims a 'libel' and said that he has 'never bought a bottle of fine wine in my life.''

The Daily Mail who also published the story, have since removed it from their website and a later article by the Times only claims that there were 39 bottles of wine. But crucially, the original quote by Boris Johnson states that:

"They were very fine bottles left behind by Mayor Livingstone. Whether they are GLA bottles of wine or his own we have yet to discover."

Now surely whether they are GLA bottles or not is central to whether they were 'left behind by Mayor Livingstone' or not, and surely the new Mayor of London should have checked that little fact out before punting the 'secret wine cellar' story to the Sunday papers.

But just as you don't employ an ex-Sunday newspaper editor, if you want some news, so you don't employ a discredited journalist if you want the facts.


Anonymous said...

I think you're missing the bigger story here Troll. The sober and honest Mayor johnson is coming in to drink up the liquid sins of his evil socialist alkie predecessor. Minor facts and edicts are but nothing to the grand Johnson

Toneytony said...

Only 39 bottles? That would barely do for a lunch back in his Spectator days.

stuart_graham said...

As Johnson admitted on Andrew Marr show, that wine would be hardly a days drinking in the house of commons, from where he has just departed. I guess most Telegraph readers would be sending the Butler to Stowells of Chelsea if their stock was below this level.
The smear element is obvious - he cannot say directly that Ken was drinking that much, so he says he's not sure, whilst we are not supposed to think it could possibly be the leader of the Tory group, a Lib Dem AM. I'd be tempted to suggest that the UKIP members forgot to take it when they departed, but they wouldn't like anything foreign, would they.