London's mayor clashed with a rail union leader today in a bizarre confrontation over a planned strike by Tube workers.
Leaders of the RMT and TSSA unions have accused Boris Johnson of refusing to meet them to discuss the closure of ticket offices.
Bob Crow and Manuel Cortes, general secretaries of the two unions, went to City Hall to try to confront Johnson.
The mayor was at the central London studios of LBC radio for his weekly phone-in, when Mr Crow spoke to him on his mobile from outside City Hall.
"We are not here to score points - all we want is an opportunity to negotiate about the Tube. We are asking you to listen to our point of view. We would love to call the strike off."
Crow accused the mayor of refusing to suspend the ticket office closures.
Johnson replied: "That is complete nonsense. We are more than happy to engage on these issues. Of course there are job losses involved but there are no compulsory redundancies.
"We have already had more than 1,000 people showing an interest in voluntary redundancy. Call off this pointless strike which will do nothing other than cost your members their wages."
Crow said later it was clear the mayor was still refusing to meet unions.
Tube services will start to be disrupted later today after talks failed to resolve a row over the closure of Tube ticket offices.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) will walk out for 48 hours from 9pm and again at the same time next week.
Transport for London warned that services will be hit from this evening until Friday morning, causing travel chaos for passengers.
Bob Crow's Tube strike is shameful, bringing misery to millions of Londoners. Ed Miliband should condemn it now: no 'ifs' and no 'buts'.— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) February 4, 2014