Boris Johnson launches inquiry into claims against deputy
New London mayor Boris Johnson has been embroiled in his first scandal, with revelations that his Deputy Mayor Ray Lewis, who has been a rising star in UK Conservative politics, was disrobed as an Anglican priest in the 1990s for "financial and sexual misconduct."
The allegations could be hugely embarassing for teh Tory party as both Johnson and David Cameron have made Lewis a big part of their platforms.
The move followed a Guardian investigation and a series of questions tabled by the newspaper on Wednesday.
It became the second blow to Johnson's administration in the past 10 days after one of his senior advisers, James McGrath, quit for telling an interviewer that Caribbean immigrants could always return to their places of birth if they did not like London under Johnson.
Yesterday, at a hastily arranged press conference at city hall in central London, Johnson backed Lewis, saying he had "every confidence" in his "tremendous deputy". Lewis, standing at Johnson's side, described claims that he had taken money from parishioners and "acted inappropriately" as "complete rubbish" and "an attempt to smear me".