After scorning those opposing ULEZ plans, the Mayor of London uses their tax money to fund propaganda for its expansionSun 11:36 am Europe/London, 5 Mar 2023
Labour’s London Mayor Sadiq Khan provoked anger at a “people’s question time” event at Ealing Town Hall on Thursday when he described Ultra Low Emission Zone (“ULEZ”) protestors as: “Some are far-right, Some are covid deniers. Some are vaccine deniers. And some are Tories.”
Tensions have been running high for months over the expansion of ULEZ – where £12.50 is charged for driving “polluting vehicles” – which is due to cover all London boroughs from August. Opposing and protesting against a £12.50 tax on the poor is not “far-right.”
As non-profit organisation #Together noted: Consultation told him “No,” London boroughs told him “No,” Surrounding areas told him “No,” and even London Labour Members of Parliament told him “No.”
Susan Hall, leader of City Hall Conservatives, said Khan has reached “a new low” when he branded ULEZ protestors as “far right.”
“He was absolutely furious that anyone should question what he was saying or what he was doing … He just doesn’t listen. He’s not interested in what anybody else says,” she said.
Conservative London Assembly Member for Bexley & Bromley Peter Fortune responded: “If you disagree, he’ll call you a science denier, a covid denier, he’s going to throw all this crazy stuff at you, because he doesn’t want to address legitimate concerns … It’s about finance. It’s about the mismanagement of TfL [Transport for London].”
Bexley and Bromley are two of five London boroughs that have brought legal action to challenge Transport for London (TfL) and the Khan’s decision to expand ULEZ to outer London boroughs. The coalition of the five councils launched a Judicial Review on 16 February.
“We believe Sadiq Khan’s decision to impose this scheme on outer London boroughs is unlawful – his spending nearly £260 million of public money without any cost-benefit analysis,” Councillor Ian Edwards, Leader of Hillingdon Council, said.
On 23 February, Downing Street slapped down Khan after he begged Installed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for an additional £110 million to prop up his hated ULEZ scheme.
Sadiq Khan is now stepping up his ULEZ propaganda machine, Guido Fawkes noted. After he was accused of “channelling Putin” for dismissing those protesting his punitive ULEZ plans as “part of a far-right group,” he’s now stepping up City Hall’s spinning efforts. Sadiq has been spotted using Greater London Authority (“GLA”) funds to promote Facebook posts defending his ULEZ plans. “It’s not like Sadiq to waste money on publicity stunts …” Guido Fawkes wrote with sarcasm.
Prospective Conservative candidate for Mayor of London, Samuel Kasumu, has weighed in, saying: “I’m very concerned about his use of taxpayers’ money for his ULEZ expansion propaganda. The language used by Sadiq Khan last night was divisive and deeply worrying. His dismissing of the very valid concerns of the people he is supposed to serve is further proof that he is unfit for office.”
ULEZ is just the beginning. TfL is continuing to pursue the idea of bringing in “pay as you drive” in London which would eventually replace the Congestion Charge and ULEZ schemes. “TfL is bound by the Mayor’s transport strategy to ensure that by 2041, 80 per cent of journeys made in Greater London are by either walking, cycling or public transport,” My London News reported.
#Together’s Alan Miller explained where the concepts of “15 Minute Cities,” “20-minute neighbourhoods,” “low traffic neighbourhoods” and “liveable neighbourhoods” came from:
“It was [former London Mayor] Ken Livingstone in 1999 that said: ‘I hate cars and if I ever get powers again, I’d ban a lot of them’.
“Ken Livingston hosted the first climate Summit of 18 mega cities in 2004/5 called C40 cities … C40 cities is now a very big international organisation of which a certain Mayor of London is now the chair.”
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Featured image: Sadiq Khan Speaking at a public Question Time session in Ealing (left), ULEZ protesters were seen in Ealing (right)