‘Weaponising Jewish people is wrong’: Sadiq Khan on anti-Semitism, Ulez and the upcoming electoral battle

For most of this year it was widely accepted that the Tories had given up on London. Sadiq Khan seemed unbeatable and the party’s hunt for a mayoral candidate to run against him became a farce as various ‘big names’ refused to run. Then Daniel Korski, the frontrunner for the candidacy, had to drop out over a #MeToo row and it fell to Susan Hall to lead the charge. And yet, despite the political drama, the Tories are within touching distance of victory at City Hall – just a couple of points behind Labour in the polls. London looks winnable. ‘Nobody likes to be unpopular, but you’ve got to have

Concrete, marmite and jam: the fight against Ulez 

‘We’re renegades now. We’re outlaws. Bandits.’ This was my assessment as the builder boyfriend pulled up outside the house in his old truck with a load of wood hanging off the back. White van man and dirty great pick-up truck man, in the case of the BB, have found a way around paying the Ulez. Mostly, they present their customer with the £12.50 a day charge, which is what they have been doing since the Ulez first started in more central areas of London. Now it has been expanded to all London boroughs, including where a lot of these chaps live and have their work yards, they have had a

Letters: The Lucy Letby killings shouldn’t mean we lose trust in all NHS managers

Murder mystery Sir: I once made a diagnosis of a very rare condition too late to cure the patient. She was nevertheless grateful and thanked me, though my conceit evaporated when she asked: ‘What took you so long?’ I suspect the managers at the Countess of Chester Hospital must feel as I did (‘Hospital pass’, 26 August). Murder was not on the top of their differential diagnoses. Many senior clinicians who have had leadership roles in NHS hospitals bear the scars of conflicts with management, though perhaps not as deep as those of the Chester paediatricians.  We would nevertheless acknowledge that most managers are dedicated, conscientious professionals committed to the

Ulez expansion has gone ahead in defiance of evidence

London’s Ulez scheme has been expanded. A new network of cameras filming the traffic movements of millions of Londoners is now switched on. Old cars and vans, often used by sole traders, will be charged £12.50 a day if they pull out of their driveways. Keir Starmer had asked the London Mayor Sadiq Khan to ‘reflect’ on the policy after Labour lost the Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election. Khan duly did, and concluded that he would stick to plan A. With 4,000 Londoners dying of air pollution every year, he said he had no option. But if that figure is correct, why has air pollution been mentioned in only one

Will the Online Safety Bill target moths?

As is now well-known, Ulez (the ultra-low emission zone) will expand from 29 August, taking in suburban parts of Kent, Surrey, Essex, Herts. This fact gave Richard Lofthouse, an editor and motoring journalist, an idea. He has done much to help car4Ukraine.com, a volunteer group within Ukraine which seeks gifts of 4×4 pickups abroad and repurposes them to help the war effort. Some are armour-plated, for instance, and fitted with a gun turret at the back. Others can be turned into field ambulances, and so on. There is an endless need for wheels in Ukraine, the life of each pick-up ‘in theatre’ being a matter of weeks. As I write, nearly

How builders plan to get round the Ulez charge

‘What a worry the Ulez must be for you both,’ said a friend with a nod to the pick-up truck parked outside our house. It was kind of him to wonder. The builder boyfriend drives an old Mitsubishi L200 to work in London every day and like almost every other working man he cannot afford to buy a new vehicle that is Ulez compliant so you would presume he has to pay the charge. But that’s not quite how it’s turning out. There is no Ulez problem for any Khan supporter who can find an old granny to put in his old car once a week If I might speak

Hell is the Ulez hotline

‘Only boring people get bored’ is what we were all told as children. What we were not warned about was that boring things can also make you boring. Boringness is infectious. Or so I have come to believe. Due to the backlash against the extension of Ulez, the Mayor has come up with a fresh brilliant idea Thanks to my own low tolerance for boring things, I didn’t race to find out about the Ulez scheme. These soul-destroying acronyms often arrive at the peripheries of my vision, where I hope they will remain. Yet they make their remorseless push forward. So this week, with boring inevitability, I had to call

Will Sunak and Starmer now ditch their green promises?

Where do the by-election results leave Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer? The Labour leader had been hoping for a victory parade but his party’s failure to secure Uxbridge – with the Tories clinging on by under 500 votes – has led to Labour unrest. Rather than tour the media studios with a single message that Labour are on the cusp of power following their decisive victory in Selby, both Starmer and his deputy Angela Rayner used broadcast interviews to take aim at Sadiq Khan. The pair cited Ulez – ultra low emission zones – as why they lost, and suggested it shows what happens when politicians don’t listen to voters,

Ulez and the limit of Sadiq Khan’s power

That the Conservatives retained the west London seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip, albeit by a whisker, has been put down to a single issue: the London Mayor’s plan to extend the ultra low emissions zone to the outer boroughs, to take effect at the end of next month. A legal challenge is currently in the works, with a ruling expected soon.  The Mayor’s argument is that improving air quality for Londoners is a priority, and he was out there repeating his point with his usual verve within hours of Labour’s failure to win Thursday’s by-election.  Whichever way the court rules, however, the extension of the Ulez is surely as

Road rage: the great motorist rebellion has begun

Since Boris Johnson quit as an MP last month, Labour has been confident about winning the Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election. Yet not so confident that Danny Beales, the party’s candidate, felt he could get through the campaign without lambasting Sadiq Khan’s plans to expand London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) to cover the capital. ‘It’s not the right time to extend Ulez to outer London,’ he told a hustings a fortnight ago. ‘It’s just not.’ It is hard for motorists not to wonder whether there is a campaign to ease them out of their vehicles From the end of next month, anyone driving a non-compliant vehicle – which in

How the Tories can avoid falling into Sadiq Khan’s Ulez trap

Sadiq Khan has an inveterate desire to show Londoners who is boss: the mayor’s latest wheeze is an expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez). Khan is seeking to roll out Ulez to all of London’s boroughs from August – along the leafy lanes of Surrey, Kent, Essex and Hertfordshire.  Aside from ostentatious green zealotry, it’s difficult to see any convincing argument in favour of doing so. These areas already have sparser public transport than the rest of London. Charging hard-pressed residents who are unable to afford a fancy car £12.50 a day for the privilege of driving to the station to catch a sustainable train is a slap