Mayor of London Boris Johnson has agreed to be blasted with a water cannon after approving the purchase of three of the devices for the capital.
In an interview on radio station LBC, presenter Nick Ferrari challenged the mayor to prove the water cannon were safe after concerns over their potential to cause serious injury to protesters.
After receiving the challenge, Mr Johnson said: “Man or mouse. You’ve challenged me, so I suppose I’m going to have to do it now.
“I can see all my press people pulling their hair out over this, but never mind, it’s got to be done. Thanks for that one, Ferrari.”
The water cannon were purchased by the Deputy Mayor for Policing at a price of £127,000 even though the Home Secretary has yet to rule on their legality.
Mr Johnson denied he was stoking a row the Home Secretary, saying: “What we are trying to do is to save some money.
“The police believe there are rare situations when the use of water cannon might be necessary, obviously with memories of what happened in August 2011.
“As Mayor, the question is could we legitimately deprive the police of this tool of crowd management, when they say that they need it.
“There could be situations where peoples’ property is damaged or lives were put at risk as a result of their not having that equipment.”
In August 2011, a series of riots swept through London and other British cities, with widespread vandalism, looting and violence. Police were criticised at the time for not doing enough to stop the wave of disturbances that continued for several nights.