By Ian Dunt Follow @IanDunt
Boris Johnson has been forced to apologise after writing off a St Patrick's Day dinner as "lefty cr*p".
The mayor claimed the dinners, which are held in London, were linked to Sinn Fein in an interview with the New Statesman last month.
"I am profoundly sorry if I have offended any Irish person," he told the Irish Independent.
"I hope that people will see I was making a point about cost cutting."
He also wrote to the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith to explain the comments, which had prompted outrage in London's Irish community.
"Although I note that the guests of honour at the 2008 St Patrick's Day dinner were Martin McGuinness and Pat Doherty, these were not dinners for Sinn Fein and, of course, I make absolutely no assumptions about the political allegiances of those who attended the dinners," he wrote.
"I regret any unintended offence that I may have given."
The London mayor and former Latin student then quipped: "Mayoral culpa, mayoral maxima culpa."