Tories slam Khan over zero strikes vow and "woeful" understanding of London transport

Mark Sands
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Historic Night For London Underground As Trains Run through The Night
"And you're sure this picture definitely won't come back to haunt me?" (Source: Getty)

London mayor Sadiq Khan has been slammed by London and home counties Tories over today's tube strike, with Khan accused of a “woeful” understanding of the capital's transport.

Tube station workers have been on strike throughout the day, with many Londoners suffering extended commutes both to and from work.

Although the strike formally finishes at 18.00, services are not expected to return to normal until much later.

Read More: There's going to be a Tube strike: Here's what you need to know

And now Khan has come under fire for election promises to end strikes on public transport.

Khan's manifesto committed him to cutting the total number of days, but on the campaign trail he vowed “to make sure there are zero days of strikes”.

City Hall has today claimed the mayor's comments were an aspiration, but Tories have nonetheless slammed Khan.

Conservative London Assembly member Gareth Bacon said: "Sadiq Khan's 'zero strikes' promise both insulted the intelligence of Londoners and showed a woeful lack of understanding of the capital's transport issues.

“For a long time I have called for a move to binding pendulum arbitration, allowing a judge to rule on industrial disputes like this. The Mayor would do well to consider sensible options such as this rather than making weak gestures that seriously undermine the public's confidence in his ability to do his job.”

Read More:Tube strike causes chaos for commuters and kicks off week of travel misery

Braintree MP and former London Assembly member James Cleverly added: “The penny is just starting to drop that promising everything to everyone is now biting him hard.

“What's happening now is that the unions are flexing their muscles. People at TFL always warned that [Khan's] promises didn't stack up, and he is now realising that he is letting people down.”

For his part, the mayor has stressed that the ongoing dispute with station staff began under his predecessor, Boris Johnson.

“A good deal, that will ensure station safety and staffing levels across the Tube network, remains on offer, and I urge the unions to continue talks,” Khan said.

A spokesman for the mayor also stressed Khan does retain an ambition of “zero strikes”.

“He still absolutely believes that every single strike is a sign of failure.”

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