London’s poor “like those apes in Gibraltar” says Mayor.

UK NEWS: In a shock extension of his claim that proposed Housing Benefits cuts would lead to “Kosovo style social cleansing,” of the capital, Mayor Boris Johnson has outlined what he calls his “nightmare vision,” of a city where no one is poor.

“Like the ravens in the Tower, policeman’s helmets and red buses, poor people are a vital part of London’s heritage,” said Johnson, “and I will fight tooth and nail to see them retained.”

With the Olympics approaching, he warned that London should not “underestimate,” the global appeal of its less wealthy citizens. “To someone from overseas, the chance to walk straight past someone holding out their hand, or perhaps some sort of home made sign in the foyer of a tube station is a huge thrill.”

When it was pointed out to him that many homeless people are not in receipt of Housing Benefit, the maverick mayor explained that the value of poverty “went far deeper than that.” “It’s not just about street Arabs and ragamuffins,” said Johnson. “Poor people with housing play their part too. The ability for the very wealthy to live just up the road from the very poor, is one of the things that marks us out as a great world city, like Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, or Darfur.”

Johnson claims the economy might also falter, were the poor to leave. “The very notion of wealth is predicated by someone else having less than you. If we lose sight of those people, then how long can it be before we lose sight of ourselves? Where is one’s motivation to get up in the morning? ”

Asked how the less well off might offset the benefits imbalance if they were to stay, Johnson said he understood the problem, but felt that the solution should involve poor people staying where they are and learning to “capitalize on their status. Perhaps sell postcards of them selves, or something like that.” He added. “I come from a world without poor people, and believe me, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.”