Sadiq Khan suggests he won’t hold a referendum on hated ULEZ expansion because he would LOSE like Brexit vote: London mayor bats away fury over emissions zone saying he’s a ‘bold leader’ who doesn’t listen to ‘vested interests’
- Sadiq Khan suggests it would be ‘weak’ for him to hold referendum on ULEZ
- London mayor resists calls to hold capital-wide vote on the scheme’s expansion
- He makes comparison with David Cameron losing the EU referendum in 2016
Sadiq Khan today suggested it would be ‘weak’ for him to hold a referendum on the controversial expansion of London’s ultra-low emissions zone.
The capital’s mayor dismissed anger at his decision to expand ULEZ to the whole of the London from late August as he hit out at ‘vested interests’.
Appearing before MPs, the Labour politician insisted he was a ‘bold leader’ who would ‘stand by’ his ‘tough decision’.
He resisted calls to hold a capital-wide vote on the expansion by making a comparison with ex-prime minister David Cameron losing the EU referendum in 2016.
‘A brave strong leader doesn’t rely upon referenda to decide policy,’ said Mr Khan, who is a fierce critic of Brexit.
There has been outrage at the London mayor for pushing ahead with the ULEZ expansion – which will see a £12.50 daily fee for vehicles not meeting minimum requirements – during the cost-of-living crisis.
Sadiq Khan dismissed anger at his decision to expand ULEZ to the whole of the London from late August as he hit out at ‘vested interests’
There has been outrage at the London mayor for pushing ahead with the ULEZ expansion – which will see a £12.50 daily fee for vehicles not meeting minimum requirements – during the cost-of-living crisis
Fears have been expressed about the financial hit for emergency workers – such as nurses driving to hospitals for night shifts – as well tradespeople who need to take vans into the capital.
Mr Khan is also under pressure to rethink the expansion after Tories at City Hall claimed the mayor’s own consultation showed 80 per cent of local businesses and employees in outer London were opposed.
But he vowed to plough ahead with his plans as he was quizzed about the Transport for London consultation by the House of Commons’ Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee this afternoon.
‘Here’s the difference, a brave strong leader doesn’t rely upon referenda to decide policy,’ he said, as he made a comparison with the Brexit vote.
‘It was a consultation, not a referenda. It’s a weak, ineffectual leader who throws red meat to his party and is scared of [Nigel] Farage – that’s a referendum.
‘A bold leader takes tough decisions. I’ve taken a tough decision and I stand by it.’
Mr Khan also insisted there were ‘no flaws’ with the TfL consultation amid a legal challenge to the ULEZ expansion by four Tory councils.
‘I understand the ability of a vocal minority to have their voices heard,’ he told the group of MPs.
‘I was elected by the silent majority to represent them. So I will not bow or cower to legal challenges or vested interests.
‘I will stand up for those 4,000 bereaved families every year who suffered a loss, the families of the children with permanently stunted lungs from air pollution.
‘And those adults with a whole host of health issues, from asthma to cancer, from dementia to heart disease.’
Mr Khan described toxic air as a ‘killer’ and compared his expansion of ULEZ to the 2007 ban on smoking in public places.
He also hit out at the Govermment’s ‘failure to give London the money for a scrappage scheme that has been given to Bristol, Birmingham and Bath’.
Earlier today, TfL introduced a new scrappage scheme that will offer motorists up to £5,000 to scrap or upgrade their vehicle in order to meet ULEZ requirements.
But the London mayor claimed none of the £110million fund was being provided by central Government.
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