5:49 pm, Mon 19 Nov 2012
Boris Johnson defended senior Tory campaigner and former campaign manager today, Lynton Crosby.
Mr Crosby has been accused of racism against Muslim voters.
Asked by Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship about the allegations, Mr Johnson said:
"He is not the ogre he is commonly depicted as, he is brilliant campaign manager, and a very very nice guy."
4:16 pm, Sun 18 Nov 2012
Labour vice-chair Michael Dugher has said that allegations of racist remarks made by Lynton Crosby are "very serious".
He said they call into question the Prime Minister's decision to appoint Mr Crosby to run the Conservative election campaign in 2015.
These are very serious allegations, which call into question the Prime Minister's decision to appoint Lynton Crosby.
These allegations must be investigated and if they are true, David Cameron must condemn them.
Appointing the arch right-winger who ran the Tories' 2005 election campaign shows once again that David Cameron can't be the One Nation Prime Minister Britain needs.
– Michael Dugher, vice-chairman, Labour
12:35 pm, Sun 18 Nov 2012
Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps has confirmed the strategist behind Boris Johnson's electoral successes - Lynton Crosby - will begin working as a part-time consultant "campaign manager" for the Party early next year.
Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps
Credit: David Jones/PA Wire
"This is a serious campaigner. Lynton brings the kind of focus that's required to manage campaigns and we have a big job to do to explain what's going on", Mr Shapps told the BBC's Sunday Politics show.
"This country is in a global race. We need to be able to get out there, show that we can secure a brilliant future for Britain".
Mr Shapps said he had spoken to Mr Crosby about allegations of a racist outburst, who assured him that he had "no recollection of this at all".
3:42 am, Sun 18 Nov 2012
The Mail on Sunday has quoted a source suggesting that strategist Lynton Crosby told Boris Johnson to concentrate on traditional Tory voters instead of 'f****** Muslims'.
A spokesman for Mr Crosby told the newspaper that he had "absolutely no recollection" of using the phrase and said it was "mischievous" to suggest he was racist "in any way".
Johnson said: "I don't recognise this characterisation. He's the best campaign manager I've ever seen. The Conservative Party has done well to retain his services."
2:38 am, Sun 18 Nov 2012
Tim Montgomerie, editor of Conservative Home, has praised the appointment of Boris Johnson's former strategeist Lynton Crosby by David Cameron.
[Crosby has] a good record of success and is perhaps the Alpha Male that Team Cameron has been missing since Andy Coulson exited.
Coming on top of the decision to target 20 Lib Dem MPs, it is a sign that Team Cameron is re-gearing for the kind of ambitious campaign that will be necessary to win a majority at the next election.
– Tim Montgomerie, editor of Conservative Home
2:12 am, Sun 18 Nov 2012
Lynton Crosby was responsible for Boris Johnson's Mayor of London campaign
Credit: David Jones/PA Wire/Press Association Images
David Cameron has recruited the strategist behind Boris Johnson's electoral successes to boost Tory prospects,
Downing Street sources told The Sunday Times(£).
Lynton Crosby is reportedly set to start work within weeks as David Cameron seeks to expand his operation ahead of the next General Election.
The return of the figure is closely associated with the Tories' failed crime and immigration-centred 2005 campaign under Michael Howard has divided opinion in the party, according to the newspaper.
Lord Ashcroft warned that the appointment was a "recipe for... conflict and confusion".