POLITICS
11/07/2013 11:43 BST

Boris Johnson Congratulates New US Ambassador By Demanding £7.2m Congestion Charges

Getty
US Ambassador to Stockholm, Matthew Barzun talks during a press conference in Stockholm, on October 21 2010, in connection with the Green Capital conference at the Town Hall. Visible behind Barzun from left are Richard Krawczun, Township Manager, Lawrence Township, New Jersey, USA; Larry MacDonald, Mayor, Bayfield, Wisconsin; Ron Loveridge, Mayor, Riverside, California, USA. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read JESSICA GOW/AFP/Getty Images)

Boris Johnson congratulated the next appointee to the post of US ambassador to the UK by slyly demanding he pays £7.2m in unpaid congestion charge fees.

Matthew Barzun, 42, is an entrepreneur and skilled fundraiser, something the London mayor was quick to seize on.

He said: "I do hope he’ll put those skills to good use in finding the more than £6 million owed by US diplomats to Londoners in unpaid C-charge fines," reports the Evening Standard.

In a statement on Thursday, the Home Office revealed a number of offences and charges against foreign diplomatic staff who have immunity in the UK.

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A total of £67m is owed in congestion charges with the US the biggest flaunter of the London traffic rule with 63,000 fines.

American officials insist the charge is actually a tax meaning they are exempt from paying.

Johnson and City Hall have had a long-running feud over the outstanding payments.