Sadiq Khan is slammed for smearing critics of his ULEZ scheme

Sadiq Khan claims some opposing ULEZ are ‘far right’

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Sadiq Khan has been criticised for branding some critics of his ULEZ scheme as being in coalition with Covid deniers and the far-right. The Mayor of London compared the situation over ULEZ to complaints before smoking in public places was banned in 2007 at a fractious meeting on Thursday.

Mr Khan plans to expand the capital’s Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) scheme to cover the whole of London from August 29 in a bid to boost air quality, with a £12.50 daily fee for vehicles not meeting minimum standards.

But it has met fierce resistance from several councils, with five mounting a legal challenge.

At a heated meeting in Ealing, west London, the Mayor said: “What I find unacceptable though is some of those who’ve got legitimate objections joining hands with some of those outside who are part of a far-right group.”

Some people inside the meeting venue then interrupted Mr Khan, jeering and heckling before he continued: “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.”

He repeated the claim a second time, saying some opponents of ULEZ have legitimate reasons while others are in coalition with those denying Covid and the efficacy of vaccines as well as the far-right.

Mr Khan’s comments sparked a social media storm with the Labour mayor accused of labelling anyone who opposes ULEZ as far-right, Covid or vaccine deniers.

Essex based commentator Sophie Corcoran wrote on Twitter: “Sadiq Khan labels people who disagree with his ULEZ expansion far-right

“So your working class builder – your traditional [L]abour voter – who is currently struggling to pay for their heating – being concerned about having to now fork out an extra £60 a week is far right?”


A fellow user of the social media platform, tweeting from an account named Chris, said: “@MayorofLondon let’s be clear here, I am far from far right or even right and I’m not an anti-vaxer but I’m 100% against expanding the ULEZ at this time when people are hard up.”

Leo Kearse, described as a comedian who appears on GB News on his Twitter bio, claimed: “A pathetic attempt to dismiss people without answering their concerns. There’s no pollution outside central London and soon cars will be electric. This is a cash-grab to pay for his incompetence.”

Fellow Twitter user, carol, wrote: “You called those opposed to [ULEZ] far right and COVID deniers. I am neither and wish you to publicly apologise to all Londoners you insulted.

“Your comments also incited hatred. Not a very professional look for a mayor [whose] jon it is [to] serve through democracy.”

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After Mr Khan’s comments, the volume of heckling inside the room grew to the point where the chair threatened to break up the meeting.

The Conservatives’ Deputy Leader at City Hall, Peter Fortune, took a shot at Mr Khan, saying: “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 fact you’ve got legitimate concerns.”

Mr Hall went on to claim Mr Khan never talks about the financial impact of ULEZ on people, saying “the reality is he’s filling a financial hole in TfL” (Transport for London).

Shadow Foreign Secretary, David Lammy, accused City Hall Conservatives of promoting a march outside the meeting venue.

In a tweet which included an image showing a placard with a swastika and hammer and sickle, Mr Lammy wrote: “Disgusting placards including swastikas at this march outside People’s Question Time in Ealing tonight.

“The @CityHallTories should be ashamed of promoting this march which looks like it’s been coordinated by the far right. We will not let them divide us.”

His tweet also included a post by City Hall Conservatives which included images of opponents of the scheme and the comment: “ULEZ protesters gather outside People’s Question Time in Ealing.”

After the People’s Question Time (PQT) event on Thursday, Mr Khan tweeted: “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.”

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