Sadiq Khan is barracked by furious audience at public meeting as he brands some ULEZ opponents ‘Far Right’ and ‘Covid deniers’
Sadiq Khan was barracked at a public meeting last night as he branded some ULEZ opponents ‘far right’ and ‘Covid deniers’.
The London mayor was holding a ‘People’s Question Time’ in Ealing when the extraordinary confrontation developed.
Tensions have been running high over the expansion of the £12.50 charging zone – which is due to cover all boroughs from August – for months.
Critics, including some London Labour MPs, have branded the policy a ‘tax raid’ and warned that it will price key workers and others who have no choice about using vehicles outside of the capital.
London mayor Sadiq Khan was holding a ‘People’s Question Time’ in Ealing when the extraordinary confrontation developed
During the bad-tempered session last night, Mr Khan compared the situation over ULEZ to complaints before the ban on smoking in public placed was introduced over a decade ago.
‘What I find unacceptable though is those who’ve got legitimate objections joining hands with some of those outside who are part of a Far Right group…’
Shaking his head amid shouts of protest from the audience, Mr Khan went on: ‘Let’s be frank, let’s call a spade a spade… some of those outside are part of the Far Right, some are Covid deniers, some are vaccine deniers and some are Tories.’
At that point the jeers became so loud that the chair had to intervene and warn that the meeting might have to be broken up.
Mr Khan eventually continued: ‘Some of you have got good reasons to oppose ULEZ but you are in coalition with Covid deniers… you may not like it… you are in coalition with the far right. And you are in coalition with vaccine deniers as well.’
Peter Fortune, the Tories’ deputy leader at City Hall, shot back at Mr Khan: ‘If you disagree with the Mayor he’s going to paint you as Far Right… he is going to say you are a flat-Earther… he doesn’t want to address the fast you’ve got legitimate concerns.’
He added: ‘It’s about finance. At the end of the day this is about the mismanagement of TfL (Transport for London).
Peter Fortune, the Tories’ deputy leader at City Hall, shot back at Mr Khan: ‘If you disagree with the Mayor he’s going to paint you as Far Right.’
‘He never talks about the financial impact on people… he never wants to address that because the reality is he’s filling a financial hole in TfL.’
Tory London AM Nick Rogers responded that the comments were ‘some of the most disgraceful I have ever heard from any politician’.
‘Labelling those who oppose his ULEZ expansion as ‘far right’ is not ok. If he can’t hack the pressure of being Mayor, he should resign.’
Mr Khan tweeted afterwards: ‘Good to answer questions in Ealing on how we are addressing genuine concerns about ULEZ expansion, whilst ensuring our children no longer breathe in poison.
‘To the conspiracy theorists who tried to disrupt tonight’s #PQT:: Londoners have no time for your dangerous misinformation.’