Boris Johnson’s re-election campaign has called on Londoners to donate to a legal “fighting fund” after RMT union ‘s General Secretary Bob Crow threatened it with legal action over campaign posters.
The union has written to Mr Johnson’s campaign calling for the withdrawal of posters it said portrays Mr Crow “as part of a corrupt group of cronies under the control of Labour mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone.”
In a statement the union said: “Our opinion is that this poster falsely portrays Bob Crow and RMT as part of some corrupt, venal, scandalous and wasteful group of cronies associated with Ken Livingstone.
“It also seems to portray Bob Crow and RMT as supporters of Ken Livingstone when the truth is that Bob Crow has not supported Mr Livingstone’s campaign as a Labour Candidate for Mayor, is not a member or supporter of the Labour Party and RMT is not affiliated to the Labour Party.”
An RMT spokesman added: “As General Secretary of RMT Bob Crow is wholly engaged in his duties in representing the interests of RMT members. The allegations contained in this poster infer that that is not the case and it has a negative impact upon Bob Crow’s reputation among both his membership and with the public at large.”
On Wednesday Mr Johnson’s campaign published an extract from its response to Mr Crow’s solicitors.
It also released the following statement: “We will not be silenced. It is all about free speech. So that we can show the risk to London of Ken and his cronies returning to City Hall we are setting up a fighting fund to defend against threatened legal action from Bob Crow.
“We urge all fair minded Londoners who find Ken Livingstone’s cosy relationship with the Union bosses who are bankrolling his campaign as unacceptable to lend us their support.”
Candidates for Mayor include Brian Paddick (Liberal Democrat), Jenny Jones (Green party), Ken Livingstone (Labour), Lawrence Webb (UKIP) and Boris Johnson (Conservative).