Shaun Bailey has challenged London mayor Sadiq Khan’s claims that the number of Transport for London employees earning over £100,000 had dropped during his tenure.
Speaking to MPs yesterday at a hearing of the transport select committee, Khan was asked by Robert Largan to justify why 557 employees were on such remuneration packages.
The mayor promised to write back to the committee with the exact figures, but said that it had gone down “hugely” since he became mayor.
He added: “Unlike during the previous administration, when numbers of those earning over £100,000 were going up and bonuses were going up, in the last four years they have been going down”.
When asked to confirm whether the number had fallen by Largan, he said: “Yes. And bonuses as well”.
However, in a letter to committee chair Huw Merriman, Conservative mayoral candidate Bailey accused Khan of “either ignorance of his own job or a deliberate attempt to mislead parliament”.
Bailey pointed to TfL’s own accounts, which show that while 557 people earned over £100,000 this year, in the last year of Johnson’s mayoralty 458 people were on such salaries, including Crossrail workers.
The figure has in fact increased every year since Khan took office bar last in 2018/19. In 2016/17, there were 576 employees on such salaries, a figure that increased to 617 the next year, before falling to 515 last year.
“While the Mayor is entitled to defend his record, he’s not entitled to do so using inaccurate statistics”, Bailey said.
“And it is simply not the case that the number of TfL staff earning over £100,000 has fallen under his mayoralty.
However, according to TfL, of the 557 on such pay packets, 156 had a base salary of over £100,000, while the rest had their pay boosted by overtime or severance packages.
By comparison, before Khan took over in 2016, there were 188 employees with base salaries above £100,000.
This year’s figures include 36 employees of the long-delayed Crossrail project, which Khan said would be delayed further.
A spokesperson for the mayor of London said: “Sadiq has frozen the salaries of top TfL executives for the duration of his mayoral term, and has reduced the number of senior managers earning salaries over £100,000.
“Sadiq has himself committed to taking a 10 per cent pay cut – and to freeze the salaries of his 15 direct appointments. This is on top of the 11 per cent saving to taxpayers arising from the mayor’s decision in 2016 not to take a pension, unlike previous mayors.”