Funding crisis: PM Boris Johnson slams City Hall for creating TfL’s ‘black hole’
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has accused London mayor Sadiq Khan of creating Transport for London’s (TfL) financial “black hole.”
“What happened is the Labour mayor of London embarked on a reckless unfunded fares policy that left a huge black hole in TfL’s finances,” Johnson said during PMQs.
Responding to accusations made by Labour MP Ruth Cadbury, who argued Khan has spent years trying to improve TfL’s situation after Johnson “bargained away” an annual grant, the PM said: “Blame lies fairly and squarely with City Hall.”
Johnson’s remarks come after the government decided to extend its financial support to TfL until Friday as a result of the ongoing struggle to reach an agreement,
The mayor and TfL have been in locked negotiations with the Department for Transport, trying to work out a new deal, the fourth since the pandemic hit TfL’s ridership numbers – the network’s main source of income.
A City Hall analysis revealed yesterday that, under a “managed decline” scenario, around £4.5bn of the capital’s economic growth would be lost – creating in turn £2.1bn worth of damages to the Treasury.
On Monday night, the mayor called on the government to negotiate so “we can save London’s transport network, and with it the economic recovery in the capital and wider country,” City A.M. reported.
Relations between Khan and the government have been tense for quite some time.
Last week, the mayor hit back at comments coming from London minister Paul Scully who said Khan needed to “get real” about the network’s funding crisis.
” If TfL is forced to make significant cuts to services it will risk our city’s economic recovery,” Khan said.