Boris Johnson has sprung a surprisingly aggressive attack on Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, following recent knife attacks in the capital. Mr. Johnson urged the Mayor of London to make himself personally accountable for the rise in violent crimes in London which has escalated to worrying levels this year.

There has been a widespread uproar about the number of young people carrying weapons on their person while walking around the streets of the capital with media panic reaching fever-pitch in February this year when the murder rate in London surpassed that of New York.

Boris Johnson wrote of his outrage in The Telegraph

Mr. Johnson, who was Mayor of London himself until 2016, was seething in his article about Khan's mayoral record, writing about what he views as "the abject failure of the mayor of London either to grip the problem or even to take responsibility." The ex-Foreign Secretary also criticised Khan for blaming 'everyone but himself' for the issue of violence in the city of London.

Boris Johnson's anger comes in the wake of many warnings having been issued by various public safety institutions about the possibility of a 'public health emergency' if the current level of violent crime continues.

While knife crime has risen to the highest level on record, there has been some confusion amongst top officials about how to tackle the problem. In the past, 'stop and search' has been used to combat people carrying knives but the Home Office made a move away from that strategy in 2015, leaving a question mark over how to discourage the possession of weapons amongst young people especially.

Sadiq Khan hits back at criticism

The Mayor of London has accused Boris Johnson of hypocrisy in response to his seething article in The Telegraph. The Mayor's office made a point of highlighting the fact that it was the Conservative government, of which Mr. Johnson was a member until recently, who cut Police funding and retracted their support for stop and search.

The Police and other preventative services have been amongst the many public services which have seen slashed in their funding stemming from this Conservative government, and so a spokesperson for Sadiq Khan has made the point that the impact which the Mayor is able to have is limited by the proper funding not being in place.

The Mayor's office has come to Khan's defence, calling Boris Johnson's article 'nonsense' and accusing the Tory government of keeping 'one hand tied behind' the Mayor's back due to insufficient funding coming from Westminster.

Ultimately, the Mayor will be pleased that this attack has come after Boris Johnson was discredited in many people's eyes after his shambolic handling of the fallout from the government's Brexit plans made at Chequers.

Mr Johnson suffered an ugly fall from grace after he retracted his approval for the government's Brexit strategy and he is now reduced from shouting from the sidelines as he languishes in the back benches. This means that his criticism of Sadiq Khan will now carry less weight because his own reputation is already in tatters and his word has become devalued.