Boris Johnson will confront Barack Obama about unpaid congestion charges when he arrives in London, reports the BBC.
Now this is very strange considering that Boris has repeatedly surrendered London's only argument for making the US embassy pay the charge, ie that it is a *charge* and not a tax.
If it is a charge then embassies have to pay it under international law. If it is a tax then they do not.
So here's Boris describing it as a tax back in 2008:
I have asked Transport for London to begin the legal process to remove [the Western Congestion Charge] with all convenient speed...
we can lift this tax within fourteen months at the absolute outside and hopefully earlier than that.
and then again on camera in 2009:
Now I'm all in favour of a genuine attempt to get the Americans to pay the charge, but all the evidence so far suggests that he has no real interest in doing so.
What he does have an interest in doing is stoking a controversy in order to grab some headlines, whilst doing nothing to actually solve the problem.
As he conceded in his interview this morning:
"The only way we could do this is if the foreign office gets a grip on the situation and actually takes the American government to court and gets this adjudicated in the international court."
Except the very first piece of evidence the Americans would use, would be the words of Boris Johnson himself.
-Update- I was on LBC earlier today debating this with Julia Hartley-Brewer and Charlie Wolf. You can listen to the show here.