Gandhi was wrong, says London mayor

Gandhi was wrong, says London mayor

Speaking at the Conservative party conference in Manchester, Johnson said 'massive urbanisation' was taking place in India, as anyone who recently visited India had seen.

Johnson, whose wife's mother is of Indian origin, drew on Gandhi to set out the work he was overseeing as the mayor of London, from City Hall, the home of the Greater London Authority.

"There is one overarching philosophy behind everything we do in City Hall that can be traced to a saying of Mahatma Gandhi, who prophesied in 1948 that the future of India lay in its 700,000 villages," he said.

"As anyone who has been to India can testify, Gandhi was wrong. It is unromantic but true that the future of the world lies in cities but he was right in this deeper sense that people yearn for the memory of the village," said Johnson, a former journalist who continues to write columns.

He said the "Eden from which we were all expelled and so everything we do is about putting the village back into the city. We are on target to build a record 50,000 affordable homes over four years and we will do even more over the next four".

Johnson went on to detail several measures he was taking as the London mayor, often drawing applause for his unique perspective on issues.

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