London mayor Boris Johnson says he has no regrets over the comments he made about the city's St. Patrick's Day event and that he won't be issuing an apology.
During an interview with the New Statesman magazine, Johnson linked the annual St. Patrick's Day gala dinner to Sinn Fein and called the celebrations "leftie crap."
The black-tie event was canceled by Johnson's office in 2009 to save money.
"I’ll tell you what makes me angry... spending £20,000 on a dinner at the Dorchester (hotel) for Sinn Féin," he said in the interview.
The mayor's comments have been labeled as offensive by the estimated 200,000 Irish population in Britain's capital and Irish community leaders are looking for an apology.
However, Johnson insists he had no regrets.
According to the Irish Examiner, a spokesperson for the mayor said "they have nothing further to add" and stressed the comments were "about the use of public resources." A further statement stated that the mayor "does support London’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations."
The mayor's comments may cost lose him key votes in the city’s Mayoral elections on May 3.
Said vice-chair of the Labour Party Irish Society, Christine Quigley: "Boris should get his facts straight. The annual St Patrick’s Day event he refers to was a self-financing community event attended by a wide range of Irish actors, politicians from every party, community figures and celebrities. It did not cost the taxpayer £20,000 and it was not a Sinn Féin event."