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Last Updated: Friday, 25 November 2005, 17:32 GMT
Boris supports capital of culture
Boris Johnson
Mr Johnson later apologised to the city of Liverpool
Boris Johnson, the Tory MP rapped for saying Liverpool wallowed in victim status, is to join a cross-party lobby group supporting the city.

Mr Johnson made the comments in an editorial for The Spectator, saying the city's outpouring of grief for Ken Bigley was "disproportionate".

But now he and the "friends at Westminster" will support the city as Capital of Culture.

The Liverpool Culture Company confirmed Mr Johnson will be in the group.

Michael Howard and Gerald Kaufman are also rumoured to be joining the group, which will be launched next Thursday with the aim of supporting Merseyside in national debates at the House of Commons.

'Drunken fans'

Mr Johnson's article, in an issue of The Spectator last October, said people in Liverpool "cannot accept that they might have made any contribution to their misfortunes, but seek rather to blame someone else for it, thereby deepening their sense of shared tribal grievance about the rest of society".

He also said Liverpudlians refused to acknowledge the part played "by drunken fans" in the Hillsborough disaster.

Ken Bigley, 62, was taken hostage in Iraq in September 2004 by the Tawhid and Jihad group, along with two Americans, who were beheaded at the time.

Mr Bigley was murdered three weeks later.

A spokesman for Mr Johnson was unavailable for comment on Friday.

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