Boris Johnson has admitted the Night Tube may not start on time, on the day of the biggest London Underground strike in more than a decade.
Speaking at City Hall this morning the London mayor refused to commit to the 12 September launch. “I'm not hung up on the date”, he said, adding: “We'll get it done this autumn.”
But he insisted it would go ahead, despite the strike which has ground the Tube network to a halt and caused commuter chaos for hundreds of thousands of Londoners.
“Obviously I very much apologise for all the delay, all the destruction. I congratulate the millions of Londoners and other around the City who are making a huge effort to get into work,” the Uxbridge and Ruislip MP said.
"I am very sorry for the Tube being down, [but] we have just got to get through this. We have got to get on with the Night Tube.
“The unions don't like it, they don't think that we should be able to do this. I think it is essential for the city, [but] they want to show that you can't do a huge change like this without them expressing their views.
"Unfortunately what has happened is that the union leadership has basically been spoiling for a big fight on this."
Although the London Underground boss Mike Brown has insisted the launch of the Night Tube would not increase workers' hours, the unions are resolute that the offers made to workers have been “divisive and unacceptable”.
"While a small minority of staff are being offered a non-consolidated one-off lump sum the remainder of staff are ignored and the key issues of work/life balance and the personal health and safety concerns are side lined," RMT boss Mick Cash said on Monday.