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Sir Iain branded Mr Khan a “weak” leader whose “whole purpose is self-promotion” and accused him of letting Londoners down on coronavirus, transport, crime and housing. He described London as a world leader in entertainment and the arts with some of the best restaurants and nightlife on the planet as well as being the global centre for financial services and the home of Parliamentary democracy.
Here in London, we have Sadiq Khan, a man whose irrelevance is only matched by his incompetence
Sir Iain Duncan Smith
He said: “You would assume that such a great city would be led by a great public figure, of stature and of note.
“Someone who demonstrated by their leadership how a complex and diverse city could thrive.
“In short, the sort of power figure who would even, in certain circumstances, be treated as an equal by world leaders.
“Yet here in London, we have Sadiq Khan, a man whose irrelevance is only matched by his incompetence when called upon to make decisions.”
Sir Iain described Mr Khan’s demands for London be placed into Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions as the “latest betrayal of our nation’s capital”.
The Chingford and Woodford Green MP warned such a move would have a huge impact on the economy with a wide range of businesses facing a financial hit because of the tighter COVID-19 rules.
The veteran MP hit out as the Government agreed to extend its financial support of Transport for London (TfL) for two weeks while negotiations on a yet another bailout continue.
A spokesman for the Mayor said: “The two-week extension will enable TfL to continue running safe, reliable and frequent transport services – which is more critical than ever as the capital enters Tier 2 and with COVID cases on the rise.
“Sadiq will continue to fight for appropriate longer-term funding for TfL, and a fair deal for Londoners.”
But the move has enraged Sir Iain who described Mr Khan’s handling of the TfL budget as “utterly appalling”.
He said: “He has already received bailouts of £3.6bn for Crossrail and a further £1.6bn in May.
“Earlier this month he was back demanding more – a further £5.6bn to keep the transport network going for the next 18 months.
“All of that is money from taxpayers from across the UK, many of whom can only dream of having the sort of public transport options available to Londoners.”
Sir Iain also accused Mr Khan of breaking promises on building affordable homes and cutting soaring crime levels in the capital while wasting money on PR, City Hall staffing and overseas visits revealed his “truly warped priorities”.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, he said: “As his reputation as a man who can’t run anything has grown and grown, his sole answer has been to try and take credit for almost anything that works in London, even if he had nothing to do with any of it.
“At a time when London needed real leadership it has had someone in charge whose whole purpose is self-promotion.
“A weak mayor at a good time is a problem. At a terrible time like this, when London needs its case to be heard, it is a disaster.”
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