Politics

Sunak demands Sadiq Khan stops ‘the unfair tax’ on motorists in London

PMQs: Sunak urges Sadiq Khan to stop ‘unfair’ ULEZ tax

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Rishi Sunak today demanded that Sadiq Khan “stops his unfair tax” as he heard allegation from Tory MPs that the London Mayor had “manipulated” the results of his consultation into expanding ULEZ to cover all of London. Tory MPs claimed during Prime Minister’s questions (PMQs) that Mr Khan had supressed 5,000 responses from the Fair Fuel Campaign and still not been able to hide the fact that the plans are opposed by a clear majority.

The exchanges in PMQs came after a Freedom of Information request from London Assembly Conservatives appeared to show that Mr Khan had interfered with the consultation into rolling out the ULEZ scheme to outer London.

It means that owners of petrol vehicles older than 2005 and diessel vehicles older than 2015 will be subject to daily chanrges of £12.50.

David Simmonds, Conservative MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, said his constituency has “a great deal of car dependent older and disabled constituents many of whom are horrified to read that the Mayor of London may have manipulated the outcome of his own consultation in order to impose an unwanted £12.50 daily charge every time they go to a medical appointment or attend hospital.”

With Labour MPs trying to shout him down, he added: “Does [the Prime Minister] agree with me that any further rollout of ULEZ should be paused until these matters have been thoroughly investigated?”

Mr Sunak responded: “It is disappointing that the Mayor baked by the Leader of the Opposition is choosing not to listen to the public expanding ULEZ zone against the overwhelming views of residents and businesses.

“I urge the Mayor to properly reconsider these plans and respond to these serious concerns.”

But the issue also has infuriated MPs from the Home Counties with constituents who need to drive to London for work.

Thanet South MP Craig Mackinlay said: “Evidence is now very clear that the London Mayors sham consultation has supressed 5,000 negative responses from members of Fair Fuel UK.

“What angers me is that this is a tax against my residents in South Thanet, it is a tax against Kent residents, it is a tax against all of the Home counties.

“This is true taxation without representation.”

Mr Sunak agreed with his Tory colleague with Labour leader Sir Kir Starmer looking stony faced across the Chamber at the exchanges.

The Prime Minister said: “My right honourable friend makes a powerful point. The Labour mayor is imposing a tax on a public that does not want it.

“I look forward to working with him to urge the mayor to properly respond to all these views and stop this unfair tax.”

The exchanges follow a formal complaint being made against Mr Khan for alleged misleading statements on the consultation after 200 documents were released suggesting he had manipulated the results of the consultation.

But earlier this week an ally of Mr Khan told Express.co.uk: “This is desperate nonsense from a political party in free fall in the polls.

“They have no answers to the challenges Londoners face and are instead fixated on mudslinging. While Sadiq has been taking clear action to improve Londoners’ lives including nearly halving toxic air in central London, they have opposed every single measure put forward to clean up London’s air.”

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