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Sadiq Khan rejects call to send scrapped Ulez cars to Ukraine

Follows call for vehicles to help the war effort

Kate Devlin
Politics and Whitehall Editor
Saturday 16 December 2023 09:33 GMT
‘World’s watching’: Joe Biden shames Republicans opposing aid to Ukraine

Sadiq Khan has rejected a call to send cars that will be scrapped under his controversial Ulez scheme to Ukraine, according to reports.

The mayor of Kyiv had urged the vehicles be transported to his war-torn country, where he said they could be used for a "variety of life-saving and transport roles".

But Mr Khan has said the proposal would not meet a “legal threshold" that requires that Londoners benefit, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The city’s mayor expanded his car scrappage scheme in the face of intense pressure over the new ultra-low emissions zone (Ulez), designed to make the city’s air cleaner.

Under the scheme the most polluting cars, which tend to be older models, must pay a daily charge of £12.50.

But its unpopularity was seen as a major factor in Labour’s shock failure to win the Uxbridge by-election earlier this year. Within weeks of the Tory party’s surprise victory, Rishi Sunak declared he was "slamming the brakes on the war on motorists" and announced a raft of policies which led to accusations the government was watering down the UK’s ‘net zero’ environmental commitments.

This week Mr Khan wrote to Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, to say the proposal did not meet the "legal threshold" that requires the scheme to benefit Londoners from an "economic, social and environmental perspective", the paper said.

Susan Hall, the Conservative candidate for mayor of London, said: "Sadiq Khan's refusal to send [non-Ulez compliant] cars to Ukraine, citing a legal quirk, is absurd. Londoners who choose to scrap their cars should have the freedom to decide for themselves if they want their car sent to support Ukraine. Standing with Ukraine against tyrants like Putin is not only a moral imperative but also in the best interest of all Londoners and the global community."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

Richard Lofthouse, who works with Car for Ukraine, a volunteer group that delivers 4x4s and trucks to the frontlines of the war effort, accused Mr Khan of a "lack of political courage".

A City Hall spokesman said that "altering the Ulez scheme for the purposes of exporting vehicles to Ukraine is not possible within the current limits of the GLA Act".

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