“Local protesters and mainstream politicians were joined by conspiracy theorists and Far Right groups”, said the BBC London News on 15th April 2023, echoing an offensive claim by the capital’s Labour Mayor, Sadiq Khan.
No we weren’t, said the hundreds of smeared protesters opposing Mayor Khan’s unfair, unwanted drivers tax.
And it took almost 4 months for the BBC to finally climb down and apologise.
Well…not quite. Despite the fact someone at the BBC thought it appropriate to copy + paste Mayor Khan’s “far-right” smear from People’s Question Time just one month earlier on 2nd March where he also called those against ULEZ fair-right, all we, the people got was an apology uploaded online – no resignations or live apologies. (By the way, that was the same People’s Question Time where I challenged Mayor Khan as to why he was not listening to the people and still inflicting his ULEZ expansion on Londoners!).
And on the ULEZ, argument has rumbled – the Uxbridge & South Ruislip by-election saw an almost certain Labour victory denied as voters in the outer London borough made it explicitly clear that they do not want ULEZ.
Overnight Labour were thrown into internal warfare with MPs and Councillors coming out against ULEZ and calling on their leader, Sir spineless Starmer to have a word with the Labour Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Did he change his mind? HA! No.
Then 5 Conservative Councils – including my own Harrow Council, took Mayor Khan to court with the Judicial Review, but were sadly unsuccessful. And then the hundreds of thousands of stories from ordinary Londoners started coming out, small, family businesses closing down, staff asking bosses to cover the daily ULEZ charge, perfectly good cars being scrapped for peanuts, all for a scheme to improve air quality that the Mayor’s own data shows will have a “negligible” impact on air quality. So what is it really then? A tax on drivers.
Yet finally the day has come, after months of pressure from inside, outside and all over the country, Labour have finally come out against introducing ULEZ-like schemes across the UK. Remember, ULEZ is not a London-only scheme. Similar schemes are being explored in every part of the country, from Glasgow to Bristol, York to Birmingham, Newcastle and of course London. The latest Labour U-turn is a welcome one, but far too late to pull the wool over voters.
So where are we now? Conservative: against ULEZ from the start. Labour: now finally opposed to ULEZ. Londoners: 66% of whom said no to ULEZ in the consultation. Mayor Khan: still ploughing ahead.
It’s become crystal clear: London has a problem. And Sadiq Khan is that problem.
Nothing is ever his fault. It’s always the Government, the Tories or someone else – Khan loves to blame Boris, so probably his fault too! It’s time for Sadiq Khan to look in the mirror and be shown the door.
Look at every measure: crime, up. Metropolitan Police, in special measures. Tube fares, up. Despite a £6 billion Government bailout to keep the buses and trains running. Day Travelcards, scrapped. Costing families and commuters more. Council tax, up. 57% since Sadiq Khan took office. Emergency services, London Fire Brigade in special measures. Housing, more like shoebox high-rises. And the list goes on and on.
It’s time for change.
It’s time for a new Mayor.
It’s time for Sadiq Khan to say sorry and resign.
As the clock ticks down to Mayor Khan’s hated ULEZ expansion, Londoners need to speak out in one, clear voice: “Mayor Khan must listen to Londoners”. He hasn’t. He doesn’t. He won’t.
It’s over to us. We must remove him. 2nd May 2024 can’t come quick enough.