Sadiq Khan has been accused of having the worst strikes record of any London mayor despite promising there would be zero industrial action on his watch.
Tomorrow's strike on the Central Line by the Aslef and RMT unions marks the 15th strike to occur since Khan was elected in May 2016. That figure includes 11 Tube strikes, one bus strike, one strike on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and two Dial-a-Ride strikes.
Before taking office, Khan branded the 35 days of strikes accumulated under Boris Johnson's eight-year tenure as a "disgrace", while also criticising his Labour predecessor Ken Livingstone for clocking up 16 days of strikes over the same period, saying it was "too many".
Transport spokesperson for the GLA Conservatives Keith Prince said: “Sadiq Khan described Boris Johnson’s strikes record as a ‘disgrace’, yet after only two and half years in the job he already has the worst average strikes record of any mayor of London.
“Londoners elected Sadiq Khan after he pledged that there would be zero strikes under his leadership, but it is clear he has spectacularly failed to keep this promise. London desperately needs a mayor who will stand up to the unions rather than letting them wreak havoc."
Former trade minister Greg Hands said: “Sadiq Khan has got a shocking record on strikes. He promised us no strikes at all, and now he has had more than Ken Livingstone. He needs to stop posturing and get a grip, otherwise Londoners will vote in 18 months for someone who can and will – Shaun Bailey."
The chair of the London Assembly's Transport Committee Caroline Pidgeon said Khan's "bold claims" had been "totally discredited".
“Instead of spending every spare minute he has in attacking other politicians he should spend a bit more of his time ensuring minor disputes do not immediately escalate into complete closures of Tube lines," she said.
“Sadiq Khan needs to stem the rise in repeated industrial action taking place on the London Underground, as these strikes are further damaging TfL’s finances, wrecking London’s economy, and even harming our environment, as every day of strike action simply leads to more cars on our roads.”
A spokesperson for Khan said: "The mayor continues to urge the RMT and Aslef to call off the strike on the Central Line and get back around the negotiating table – continuing with constructive dialogue rather than unnecessary action at the expense of passengers.
"Londoners know from their own experience that Sadiq has a far better record on reducing strikes than his predecessor. Over the past two years the number of days lost to strikes on the Underground has been reduced by 65 per cent because we have engaged in constructive dialogue with the trade unions."
The 24-hour strike on the Central and Waterloo & City Lines will go ahead as planned tomorrow, causing widespread disruption for hundreds of thousands of commuters. A separate strike by the RMT on the Piccadilly Line was suspended earlier today after a breakthrough in talks.
London First infrastructure director David Leam said: “Whenever there’s a Tube or train strike, it’s Londoners who pay the price, whether that’s being forced to endure a nightmare journey, take a day’s holiday or lose a day’s pay. Enough is enough, the unions must step back from the brink and get back to the negotiating table.”