Tories claim London mayor Sadiq Khan 'manipulated' the results of Ulez consultation

The ultra low emission zone was introduced in 2019 to reduce air pollution in the capital. Credit: PA Media

The Conservatives have released documents which they claim prove Mr Khan and his deputy, Seb Dance made “untrue and dishonest” comments to the London Assembly about the consultation of the Ulez expansion.

The Tories claim the mayor lied to the assembly, stating that he had not seen the interim results of a consultation into extending the Ulez zone. They say “internal correspondence” shows he was “secretly briefed on” weeks before.

Mr Khan’s office is accused by the Conservatives of responding to the interim results by launching a £165,000 digital marketing campaign in the final weeks of the consultation, focusing on demographics “most likely to support the Ulez expansion”.

They have also claimed that the mayor’s office “manipulated” the final results by excluding some so-called “campaign responses”, which lowered the level of opposition in the final count from 62% to 59%.

'Serious misconduct'

Nick Rogers, transport spokesman for the Conservatives in City Hall, said: “We now have overwhelming evidence that Sadiq Khan has committed serious misconduct, by violating the integrity of the consultation and improperly excluding thousands of legitimate responses.

“The mayor must now explain himself to Londoners, who participated in this consultation in good faith.

“This behaviour cannot stand and must be addressed by the appropriate authorities.”

Mr Rogers has submitted a formal complaint about Mr Khan to the Greater London Authority monitoring officer.

Drivers, whose cars don’t meet Ulez emission standards face a daily fee of £12.50 for using London’s roads. Credit: PA Media

Minister for London Paul Scully said: “These findings are very concerning.

“If the mayor is going to push through such a punitive and unpopular policy, he has to have a grip on the detail.

“The London Assembly is responsible for the oversight of the mayor of London. It can and should investigate this further.”

'Thousands of deaths'

Mr Khan’s spokesman said: “The real scandal is that toxic air leads to the deaths of thousands of Londoners every year, which is why the mayor took the difficult decision to expand the Ulez London-wide.

“The mayor made the decision after considering TfL’s (Transport for London’s) full final report on the consultation responses.

“The consultation was not a referendum. However, TfL made a number of modifications to the scheme following feedback received in the consultation.

“This included addressing cost of living concerns with a £110 million scrappage scheme for low-income Londoners and extending the exemptions for disabled Londoners.

“TfL takes its responsibility to run robust and legally compliant consultations extremely seriously, with an independent consultancy putting together the final analysis and report, and any suggestion that TfL or the mayor has sought to influence the results of the Ulez consultation is simply untrue.

“As part of a rigorous consultation process, it was right for TfL to seek responses from as wide a range of Londoners as possible, including young Londoners – whose lives will be affected by air pollution for years to come.”

Blue zone shows current ULEZ zone, green shows current LEZ zone and expanded ULEZ zone Credit: TfL

In November, Mr Khan announced that the scheme, which currently covers the area within the North and South Circular roads will be expanded to cover the whole capital from August 20223.

Hundreds of thousands of drivers, whose cars don’t meet Ulez emission standards, will now face a daily fee of £12.50 for using London’s roads.

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