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Boris sets up his own taxpayer-funded fan club

20 August 2013

Boris Johnson was accused today of setting up his own fan club to sell his controversial tube cuts plan to his workforce at TfL.

The charge was made by the TSSA rail union which revealed that the London Mayor has given 20 staff six months leave from duty to promote his plans which include closing all 268 ticket offices around the capital within the next two years.

The "fan club" - which will cost the taxpayer at least £400,000 in lost salaries - is touring stations and offices urging staff to support a high tech future where automatic machines replace ticket-selling staff.

The "have a nice day" team is part of TfL's "Every Journey Matters" programme, aimed at cutting its transport budget by £220 million from next April with the loss of 2,000 jobs.

"This is Boris's most ludicrous gimmick yet," said union leader Manuel Cortes.

"First we have the Boris Bus, then the Boris Bike and then the Boris Cable Car. But I guess if you have an ego the size of the Mayor's, you also want your own fan club to tell your staff how wonderful you really are.

"With all the other millions wasted on his existing vanity projects, he probably regards this as just a drop in the ocean.

"Rather than insult his staff's intelligence by sending out his own hand picked disciples to spread the word of the good lord Boris, why doesn't he just sit down with the unions and level with us about the cuts we all know are coming."

Last week the union accused the Mayor, who is now in Australia on holiday, of hypocrisy over the closure programme pointing out he was elected in 2008 on a pledge to keep open all tube ticket offices.

"Perhaps we will learn the full truth when the ego finally lands back at Heathrow after he finishes playing his latest role - Crocodile Boris Down Under," added the union leader.

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