Boris Johnson labels Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ plan ‘mad’
Sadiq Khan has been urged to “stick to the day job” after he made a fresh Brexit intervention. The London Mayor is pressing the Government to ease post-Brexit visa rules which he warns are putting off young Europeans from visiting the capital for work, education and tourism.
Mr Khan, an avowed Remainer, is calling for a new youth group travel scheme to make the UK more open to visits from school children from around the world.
But the London Mayor’s latest Brexit intervention has come under fire from Tories.
Conservative MP Louie French said it was a “bit rich” as Mr Khan’s controversial expansion of London’s ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) will have a “devastating impact” on visitors to the capital.
The Tory MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup said: “It is a bit rich that Sadiq Khan criticises others when his own policies such as ULEZ expansion and scrapping rail travelcards and popular bus routes, will have a devastating impact on small businesses and visitors to the capital.
“The Labour Mayor of London has failed miserably in his core missions to Keep London Moving and to Keep Londoners Safe.
“We urgently need a new Mayor to fix the mess he has created during seven years of failure.”
City Hall Conservatives economy spokesperson Neil Garratt claimed Mr Khan “starts talking about Brexit” when he is having a “bad news day”.
The London Assembly member for Croydon and Sutton highlighted a YouGov poll which found half of Londoners think Mr Khan is doing badly.
Mr Garratt said: “You can always tell when Sadiq Khan is having a bad news day: he starts talking about Brexit.
“The fact is he is failing London by every possible metric and the longer he is Mayor, the worse he gets.
“Today’s YouGov poll shows half of Londoners are unhappy with the job he’s doing.
“Like most Londoners, I wish he would stick to the day job and deliver for London.”
Mr Khan was due to raise the issue in a speech to business leaders tonight.
In a statement ahead of the event, he said: “Ensuring we can encourage more young Europeans to visit London is vital for both our tourism industry and the rich cultural exchange of ideas and experiences that underpins London’s place as a truly global city.
“I call on the Government to introduce a Youth Group Travel Scheme, which could be specially designed to make the UK more open to visits from school children from around the world.
“The Government should also extend the Youth Mobility Scheme in a reciprocal agreement with EU countries to allow further cultural exchange whilst also supporting sectors, such as the hospitality and catering industries, which have been on the frontline of post-Brexit labour shortages.
“Our post-Brexit future does not have to mean isolation from our European friends and partners and restrictive policies that only damage our economy and opportunities for growth.”
Mr Khan was slammed by Brexiteers earlier this year for trying to drag the UK back into the EU’s single market.
In a Mansion House speech in January, the London Mayor accused the Government of “denial and avoidance” about the “immense damage” Brexit is doing to the country and demanded “greater alignment” with Brussels.
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