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Ask Boris: 3rd March 2014 - Watch In Full

Tuesday 3rd March 2014

Boris Johnson is answering your questions in the latest of his monthly Ask Boris programmes.

The Mayor of London joins Nick Ferrari for his a regular LBC 97.3 phone-in. He'll discuss any topic you want him to - so send us your questions on the issues that affect you for next time.

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09:49 An East London artist is on now telling the Mayor that he’s being pushed out because of high rent and why are there not schemes to build affordable space for artists. The Mayor says there are plans in place to turn Hackney Wick into a conservation site and offer new spaces for artists.
09:48 Boris Johnson on the Ukraine, “it’s how we deal with Russia’s sense of alarm”. He doesn’t know how it’s going to end up. It could go for a partition but is that something Russia would tolerate. It’s going to be difficult for Putin to seed influence. It’s going to take a huge amount of restraint and diplomacy on all sides. On the question of UK Paralympians at the Sochi games, the Mayor isn’t sure they should go and there certainly shouldn’t be a G8
09:46 We’re back on the topic of Islamic radicalisation and where the Mayor is getting his evidence that some families are radicalising  their children.

The Mayor says there is some evidence this is happening and that it’s important that we look at safeguards.
09:41 The next question is Boris bike use in London and claims the numbers are down.

The Mayor says the numbers haven’t necessarily dropped as most of the stats being shared are from January when it’s cold. He does admit that they’ve raised prices though. Nick is asking him if there’s a new sponsor in place yet for the bikes but Boris won’t give him an answer. The Mayor also doesn’t know the exact price of a bike hire.
09:37 Samuel from Kensington says he’s in support of Boris airport expansion plans but is not in support of the idea of closing Heathrow. Samuel thinks we should downsize Heathrow instead and London City Airport should be closed.

Boris thinks you could build a site the size of Kensington and Chelsea at Heathrow, a site that already has excellent transport links. The Estuary is a great option for redevelopment. It could generate hundreds of millions of jobs and reassert London’s lead as an economic leader. 
09:29 Paul is on asking how he can become a tube driver without having to serve as a guard. The Mayor says that more and more cars will be driverless in the coming years. If you look at other countries, many of them have automated public transport. The Mayor is keen to highlight though that there are plenty of ‘fantastic’ career options on the Tube.
09:28 Nick Ferrari is now asking about the costs of keeping Julian Assange in London. Boris thinks  the costs are totally mad but it’s a sign of what a nice democratic country we are.
09:27 An email question now asking if there are any plans for a second Blackwall tunnel. The Mayor confirms that they’re in consultation to look at this issue right now.
09:25 Next caller asks why during the tube strikes was the congestion charge not waived. Boris says he doesn’t want transport to be made worst during strikes with more cars on the road, which is why the charge is not waived.
09:22 The next caller is Sandra from a charity looking to build a memorial for the Bethnal Green Shelter Disaster and who are asking for funding from the Mayor to help build it. Boris says he would love to help more. If he can find cash, then he’ll see what he can do to help.
09:16 Would Boris Johnson give people a vote on Europe as PM? Yes 

09:15 The next question is about bus passes and why the Mayor wants to get rid of them.

The Mayor has reassured the caller that bus passes are not being taken away and any proposals being discussed by the Local Government Association don’t apply to London.
09:13 The next question asks Boris if he had been PM for the last four years, what would he have done differently to Cameron?

Boris says that he thinks Cameron has done a brilliant job and the only thing he’d have looked at as PM is ‘our aviation’ problem. Johnson says he doesn’t think it’s right to build a third runway at Heathrow and we need a new solution.

9:10 The next caller wants to know what Boris Johnson said to George Osborne. The Mayor says the headline had no relation to reality. Boris says George told him he could have 200 million for the Cross Rail project. The Mayor says he and George have a good friendship and they want to get Cameron re-elected. He won’t answer Nick’s questions on whether or not Boris will make a commons comeback. The Mayor is now confirming though that the Hammersmith flyover is going to become a fly under. The Mayor is using this point to highlight that with such great projects happening in London, why would he want another job.

9:02 The first caller is asking the mayor that if children of radical islamists are taken away from them then shouldn't the same apply to the BNP. The Mayor thinks it's a fair question and it all depends on the interests of the child. In an extreme example where a child is being taught to hate and commit crime then he thinks that could be an option. The question is how do we make sure the kids in London aren't growing up with these nightmarish ideas in their heads. One thing being drawn to his attention is this particular anomaly of some kids being put at risk by families trying to radicalise them
9:00 And we're off for Ask Boris. Before taking questions, the Mayor is discussing apprenticeships and a new initiative to create new apprenticeships in the hospitality industry
08:44 Of course, Mr Johnson will answer any question that you want to put to him. Call in with your question to 0845 60 60 973.
08:39 He also wrote in his Daily Telegraph column that children of Islamist extremists should be taken into care to protect them from becoming radicalised. How will he explain those opinions?

08:34 It's the perfect time to speak to Boris, as he's been in the papers a lot in the last couple of days.

There are reports of a rift with George Osborne amid rumours that both are trying to position themselves to succeed David Cameron.

08:30 Welcome to another unmissable edition of Ask Boris - as the Mayor of London answers your questions.