At the Conservative conference in Manchester on Monday, Johnson vowed to fight European rulings he claims will stifle the competitiveness of the capital. He said: “Last week, we heard the Prime Minister’s apostasy, where he seemed to attack the free market ideology he spent 10 years slavishly adoring. I do not agree the financial services industry is morally bankrupt.”
Johnson said: “I will oppose high marginal rates because they failed in the dismal 1970s because they yield tiny sums in revenue and only serve to drive away talent. The City of London should remain competitive.”
He admitted he was out on a limb in standing up for “pariah” bankers but urged “banker bashers” not to forget the contribution that the “leper colony” in the City makes to the country’s finances.
He said: “The City of London should remain competitive. The City produces nine per cent of UK GDP and 13 per cent of VAT.”
Johnson said other European countries were not above poking the City in the eye in an attempt to gain competitive advantage. He said: “Sensible taxes, light regulation and reasonable employment law will mean businesses are able to pay the taxes for the things we need to do.”