Sadiq Khan lashes out over ULEZ in tense Piers Morgan interview – ‘Grow up’

Sadiq Khan has defended his controversial ULEZ expansion in a heated exchange with Piers Morgan this evening.

The Mayor of London was taken to task by the veteran TV presenter on his TalkTV show today over the controversial boundary expansion, which has sparked furious opposition since its implementation last week.

Angry Londoners living in the city’s outer boroughs have complained about being stung by the £12.50 fee for non-compliant cars – and have responded by defacing and even toppling infrastructure used to enforce the fine.

Mr Khan has long defended the expansion as a necessary evil and did so again this evening.

With the Conservative party regularly criticising Sadiq Khan over the policy, he called on the Government to “grow up” and join his cause as “nobody wins if kids have stunted lungs”.

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It comes as earlier this year, the Tory party won a by-election in the Outer London constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip – a seat formerly held by Boris Johnson before his resignation – during a passionate campaign with the ULEZ at its heart.

And Susan Hall, Sadiq Khan’s rival in next year’s London Mayoral elections, has already started using the expansion as one of her main campaign points to try and boot him out of office.

Mr Morgan repeatedly pressed the mayor about his policy on his TalkTV show, Piers Morgan: Uncensored.

The Mayor of London resisted the claim the expansion was unfair, stating that “a lot of misinformation” has been spread since it was announced.

But he also sympathised with those who had “genuine anxiety” about being caught in a non-compliant car.

He said that “in fact, they won’t be caught”, and added that “nine of 10 cars seen driving are already compliant”, meaning they “don’t pay a penny more”.

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The mayor said that the primary issue with the policy is that the Government has blown up the outrage and “weaponised this as an issue”.

He said: “What the Government is doing is weaponising this as an issue and what I’m keen to do is to listen to the concerns people have, and they’re genuine concerns, many of them, and try and address them.

“I say again, this was a difficult decision, but I think it’s a vital one, and the right one.”

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He added: “The reason why the Government isn’t giving London support, they’re giving Birmingham and Bristol and Bath support, is that they think by attacking Londoners, they may do better at the General Election. So, Londoners are pawns caught in this crossfire.

“What I’d say to the government is, ‘Grow up!’ Work with me to support Londoners, whether you’re a family, whether you’re a charity, whether you’re a business, nobody wins if people in London die prematurely. Nobody wins if kids have stunted lungs.”

Polls have found that, despite long-running campaigns against ULEZ, a plurality of Londoners have supported the zone, with pollsters Redfield and Wilton having found earlier this year that 58 percent of 1,100 residents favoured its expansion.

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