Boris describes Clegg as 'great yellow albatross'

London Mayor Boris Johnson has dismissed Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as a "lapdog of David Cameron," describing his role in Government as "decorative".

Accusing the Liberal Democrat leader of holding the Government back from "sensible" policies, the Conservative mayor made clear he looks forward to the day when the coalition is no longer necessary, telling reporters: "The sooner we are shot of the great yellow albatross the better."

Boris Johnson and Nick Clegg photographed together during the London Olympics. Credit: Press Association

Previous exchanges between the pair havebeen more tongue-in-cheek, but when he was reminded of them at aWestminster lunch, Mr Johnson needed littlegoading to give his opinion.

"I don't want to cast aspersions on my fellow err... what is he... he's a radio disc jockey now, isn't he?" said Mr Johnson.

"I'm sure he has many, many important ceremonial duties. He is a sort of lapdog of David Cameron who's been converted by taxidermy into a kind of protective shield, like the Emperor Valerian who was skinned and hung on the wall. That's what he reminds me of.

"He is a very, very decorative part of the constitution.

"Insofar as he fulfils any function at all, it is to stop sensible policy being promulgated by this Government, as far as I can make out. That's basically what he does.

"The sooner we are shot of the great yellow albatross, in my view, the better."