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London Mayor urges Putin to strip for judo

Boris Johnson has boosted his reputation for eccentricity with a demand for Russian president Vladimir Putin to perform half-naked at the Olympic Games.

The London mayor made the comments amid soaring poll ratings, which suggest he would slash Labour’s lead if made Conservative leader.


Trading blows: The London Mayor joked that he would like to see the 59-year-old Russian president participate in the Olympics. Putin’s visit to Britain is his first after nine years. Pic/AFP

Asked about David Cameron’s judo-watching meeting with Putin, Johnson replied, “I hope he will take part — isn’t he a dab hand? I think that’s what people want to see — stripped to the waist.”

He added, “We want the politicians’ Olympics, that’s what we want.” The dubious comments come just a day after Johnson was stuck up a zipline above Victoria park, in an image which has now gone viral online.

Judo diplomacy
Black-belted Vladimir Putin will lock horns with British PM David Cameron over Syria and a crackdown on opponents including the trial of punk band Pussy Riot in a day of judo diplomacy at the Olympics.

Prime Minister Cameron will try to push the former KGB spy to take a tougher line on Syria, Russia’s firmest foothold in the Middle East, and stop blocking Western-backed resolutions aimed at stepping up pressure on President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia’s 59-year-old president is also likely to face questions about an intensifying Kremlin campaign to silence dissent after members of a women’s punk band went on trial and a prominent opposition blogger was charged with embezzlement. 

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