London Mayor urges Putin to strip for judo

Aug 03, 2012, 07:07 IST | Agencies

Boris Johnson joked that he would like to see the Russian President 'strip to the waist' and take part in the Olympics

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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