Boris backtracks on rape manifesto commitment

London mayor Boris Johnson has backtracked on his election commitment to fund rape crisis centres in the capital.

After sustained questioning from Green party Assembly member Jenny Jones yesterday, Mr Johnson admitted he would only provide £233,000 a year for the city’s rape crisis centre programme.

During the campaign, he pledged £744,000 a year to fund the single existing centre along with three new ones.

The change of heart will land Mr Johnson in hot water with women’s rights groups, after his impassioned rhetoric on the subject during the campaign.

At the time, Mr Johnson wrote a letter to Liz Kelly, chair of End Violence Against Women, in which he stated: “The next mayor of London must show leadership if we are to end this crime.

“Quite simply, I believe that it is more important to fund rape crisis centres than press officers.”

The backtrack follows the cancellation of the annual Capitalwoman conference in which women from across London discussed issues affecting them.