MAYOR of London Boris Johnson has branded council-run newspapers a "ludicrous waste of money".

Speaking exclusively to News Shopper, Mr Johnson criticised local authority papers such as Greenwich Time.

He said: "Council produced newspapers are a ludicrous waste of money and a very real threat to the democratic process, which is why I instantly scrapped Ken Livingstone's self-serving propaganda sheet, The Londoner, saving £2.9 million of council taxpayers' money a year to be spent on, amongst other things, 10,000 trees.

"We simply cannot afford to find that we've suddenly arrived in a future where independent local newspapers cease to exist and the local council paper is all there is to go on.

"Some of London's independent local papers have been holding the executive to account for over a hundred years and too many of these valuable publications are already closing.

"Without them we face dark days of partial news management."

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