Conservative candidate and incumbent London Mayor Boris Johnson admitted that he failed to engage enough with nearly half a million Muslim Londoners during his 4-years stint in the office.
The admission came from the most popular Tory politician at his meeting with representatives of more than 50 mosques at the Regents Park Mosque - Islamic Cultural Centre — here.
Boris Johnson, a columnist for many Tory-supporting daily and weekly publications, also apologised - and retracted - his article he wrote for the Spectator magazine in which he asked to change Islam to be compatible with “British values and loyalty to Britain”.
Johnson said he believed Islam was a religion of peace and he should not have written that article and the decision to write that article was not “judicious”. He described himself as a defender of faiths and said his own great grandfather was a Muslim who had arrived in Britain a 100 years ago fleeing persecution. He blamed his critics for misrepresenting and twisting that article to attack him.
Johnson criticised the European Court on Human Rights (ECHR) ruling on British Pakistani Babar Ahmed’s extradition to the USA and called for the British Muslim’s trial in a UK court.
He said the ECHR’s ruling was an infringement upon the rights of British citizens who are only accused of crimes not committed in the USA, adding that British nationals should only be tried “under the judicial system in this country. They should not be sent to the US when the UK courts are capable of adjudicating the mater here”.
Johnson told the participants he wanted to be re-elected to continue his agenda of creating more jobs in London, put more police on the streets to make Londoner feel safer, to regenerate and encourage more entrepreneurship. He said under him in 4 years the crime rate had gone down dramatically because his approach of increasing the number of police -including ethnic minority police officers - was the rights approach.
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