Mark Harper could block Sadiq Khan from expanding the London ultra-low emissions zone, Nigel Farage has revealed.
On his GB News show this evening, Mr Farage read article 143 from the Greater London Authority Act 1999, which says in black and white: “The Secretary of State can override the Mayor of London on transport policy, if the Secretary considers that the strategy – or any part of it – is inconsistent with national policies, and detrimental to any area outside Greater London.”
Mr Farage said the move would be a no-brainer for the Tories, especially given Labour has a handful of seats on the outskirts of the capital that will be hit by Sadiq Khan’s expansion.
On the second point of the legislation, he said it has already been “absolutely confirmed” that ULEZ will hurt areas outside London.
“There are so many people with businesses in counties surrounding London that will be adversely affected by the ULEZ extension”.
READ MORE: Conservatives are ‘working behind the scenes’ to stop ULEZ
The crux of the problem, Mr Farage explained, is the first point made by article 143 – “what is our transport policy?”
“But if the Government is now saying it’s against this ULEZ extension and against it happening in other cities, I can’t see what the problem is.
“I think politically, it’s a no brainer for the Conservatives to delay the introduction of ULEZ and to push it out beyond the mayoral elections next may”.
GB News political editor downplayed hopes of a Government intervention on the matter, however, saying sources close to the Transport Secretary told him they weren’t going to take up the challenge of blocking the expansion legally.
Christopher Hope said while the legislation is there in the 1999 Bill, it’s a question of how you define it.
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Mr Hope said Mark Harper had taken legal advice on the question, but had been told they can’t use the legislation to stop Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion.
However it was claimed Transport Secretary Mark Harper could overrule the legal advice on a value for money grounds and order his officials to say, leading to a court challenge.
Nigel Farage blasted the excuse that legal advice prevents Mr Harper from intervening, asking: “What about entrepreneurship? What about leadership? What about caring for the poorer in society?”
He asked: “Shouldn’t Mark Harper be bolder?”
Chris Hope suggested the Tories may not be intervening for political reasons, hoping the extension will anger voters ahead of next year’s mayoral elections and giving Tory candidate Susan Hall a dividing line against Sadiq Khan.
Mr Khan’s ULEZ expansion is expected on August 29.
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