ShortList is supported by you, our amazing readers. When you click through the links on our site and make a purchase we may earn a commission. Learn more

Boris Johnson’s unused water cannon is costing the taxpayer £22,000 a year

And his garden bridge is set to be cancelled

Boris Johnson’s unused water cannon is costing the taxpayer £22,000 a year
26 July 2016

Water waste of money.

Figures obtained by the Evening Standard have revealed that the Metropolitan Police is wasting almost £22,000 a year on the storage and servicing of three water cannon bought by former London mayor Boris Johnson.

A Freedom of Information request revealed that the exact cost of storing the equipment, bought second-hand from Germany in response to the London riots of 2011, was £21,866 annually. The cannon cost over £200,000 originally and have never been used, after then Home Secretary Theresa May blocked their use for any sort of crowd control on the grounds of medical risk. Ever since, they have been stored at the Met's training facility near Gravesend in Kent, and used for training purposes.

Johnson has been criticised on all sides for his purchase: new London mayor Sadiq Khan has said he will sell them and spend the money on services for young people, while Theresa May made a rare quip at Johnson's expense during her short-lived leadership campaign saying, “Last time he did a deal with the Germans, he came back with three nearly new water cannon.”

And just so we know - the plural of cannon is 'cannon'. Yes, we were as surprised as you.

Meanwhile, another of Boris' pet projects as London mayor, his 'Garden Bridge' looks set to be cancelled. Sadiq Khan has put the project, which would span the Thames from Temple and the south bank, on hold until at least the autumn while new Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is understood to be sceptical about its merits. It is due to receive taxpayer funding of £60m and Johnson, now Foreign Secretary, is believed to be the only supporter of the project in the cabinet.

Poor Boris, it's all gone a bit wrong recently hasn't it? Let's cheer ourselves up with one of the many stupid, stupid photographs from his time as mayor.

(Images: Getty/Rex/Heatherwick Studios)