Sadiq Khan’s first policy announcement of his mayoral campaign appears that it could have been lifted from the cult TV show The Thick of It.
The mayor of London today announced that if re-elected in May that all carers of disabled people will get free travel on all Transport for London (TfL) services.
The policy is almost identical to one announced in a 2012 episode of political comedy series The Thick of It.
In the fifth episode of series four, the junior minister in the fictional Department for Social Affairs and Citzenship tries to announce his policy of a “carers pass”, which would give free travel to carers of disabled people.
The idea is mocked by a fellow staffer in the show as “another one from Adam and Fergus’ pop-up book of policies”.
Despite the two policies being almost identical, a London Labour source said it was not lifted from the TV show and that in fact many advocacy groups had called for this type of policy to be implemented.
Khan’s proposed companion pass has in fact been implemented in other places in the UK, including in South Yorkshire.
“We’ll pinch great ideas for new ways to stand up for London wherever we can find them, but this was not from the Thick Of It,” the source said.
“The companion pass will make it easier and more affordable for disabled Londoners to get around our fantastic city.”
Khan is up for re-election in May, with bookmakers expecting an easy victory.
Labour cleaned up in London at last month’s General Election and a recent poll put the mayor more than 20 points ahead of his nearest challenger, Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey.
The YouGov/Queen Mary University poll put Khan on 45 per cent, Bailey on 23 per cent, independent candidate Rory Stewart on 13 per cent, Liberal Democrat Siobhan Benita on eight per cent and Green co-leader Sian Berry on seven per cent.