London Mayor Boris Johnson has called on international billionaires’ wives to travel to London if they wish to divorce their wealthy other halves.
Speaking at the annual CBI conference, the famously forthright mayor hailed the capital as the perfect place to take billionaires “to the cleaners”:
“I have no shame whatever in saying to the injured spouses of the world’s billionaires: ‘If you want to take him to the cleaners, darling, take him to the cleaners in London!’ Because London cleaners will be grateful for your business.”
The call came as part of an apparently tongue-in-cheek speech in which he listed a variety of attractions and services which London had to offer the world, legal expertise amongst them. In another section of the speech, he appeared to openly call for libel tourism:
“I would never encourage anyone to sue, but if one oligarch feels defamed by another oligarch, it is London’s lawyers who apply the necessary balm to the ego.”
The latter call earned a crisp response from Downing Street, quoted in the Belfast Telegraph:
“We are trying to dissuade libel tourism as a point of principle.”
Mr Johnson is known for his jokey style and it is unlikely that he meant these comments entirely seriously. But he is justly proud of London which certainly has excellent Judges, courts and the law. As am I. I am extremely proud to be practising from the heart of legal London myself. And it is not for nothing that wealthy people all over the world vote with their feet and litigate in London.
Divorce is a painful and stressful experience. London has a great deal to offer and I see no reason at all why its Mayor shouldn’t stand up and say it loud and clear.