Party donor loses government cab contract after bus lane row


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Indy Politics

The minicab firm run by Conservative donor John Griffin is to lose a lucrative contract with the Government, it emerged yesterday, hours after the company was banned from encouraging its drivers to illegally use bus lanes.

Government departments have spent thousands on Addison Lee's services but the contract will not be renewed when it expires at the end of the month.

Mr Griffin, who has donated £250,000 to the Conservative Party, has faced criticism since telling his 4,000 drivers that the company would cover fines incurred from driving in bus lanes as part of a campaign to compete with black cabs.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said the contract would not be renewed due to Whitehall efficiencies. "The only existing cross-government contract with Addison Lee will expire at the end of this month and is not being renewed. Departments are reducing travel expenditure," the spokesperson said.

The Foreign Office alone spent £70,798 with Addison Lee between May and December 2010 and the Department for Education spent £37,299 between August 2011 and January 2012.

While the High Court ruled that Mr Griffin could no longer offer to pay driver fines, it called for a speedy resolution to an application for a judicial review on the issue made by the firm.

Mr Griffin said: "Addison Lee remains committed to our bus lane campaign. Having got the judicial review moved forward to July in time for the Olympics, we are confident the campaign will be successfully resolved for the benefit of all our... customers and drivers."