Sadiq Khan has rejected calls from the government to accept severe conditions attached to a potential Covid bailout for London, pushed back on threats to take control of TfL and vowed to “fight that if they seek to do so”.
In a Sky News interview this afternoon, the mayor warned that “unless the government reaches a deal with us by the end of this month, we won’t have monies that we’re required to do so by law”.
His comments followed threats by the government to take control of the capital’s transport system if the mayor does not raise council tax, expand the congestion zone and increase fares across the city.
The mayor told viewers that the due to the pandemic, TfL will soon be facing significant financial difficulties and that this would necessitate running fewer services. He added that this would undermine public health.
He said: “What I’ll need to be doing is reducing services in London… the problem with that is not only will businesses suffer, but at a time when there’s a pandemic we need people who use public transport to keep a social distance.”