Sadiq Khan sparks fury after accusing Sunak of failing ‘to help London’ in Spending Review

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Mr Sunak warned the devastation caused by the pandemic will see the UK economy shrink by its largest amount for 300 years and Government borrowing reach levels previously unseen in peacetime. He said: “Our health emergency is not yet over. And our economic emergency has only just begun.”

The Spending Review doesn’t help London in any meaningful way

Sadiq Khan

But Mr Khan, who has already received Government bail-outs of £1.6billion and £1.8billion to prevent the collapse of Transport for London (TfL), said the capital needed more cash.

The London mayor said: “Through no fault of their own, COVID has left councils in London, who are on the front line in this pandemic, facing a net funding shortfall of £1.1billion this year.

“The Government need to stay true to their word and provide the funding councils need urgently to keep delivering the vital local services we all rely upon.”

He continued: “To get our economy going again over the coming weeks it will also be crucial that the Government now work with businesses and boroughs to rapidly roll out mass testing and vaccination programmes within the working-age population.

“If the Government continues with its approach of starving the capital of investment it will do nothing more than hamper our recovery from COVID – both in London and across the UK.

“It is vital that London is now able to get its fair share of funding both from the Shared Prosperity Fund and the new Levelling Up Fund announced today.

“This Government should learn from mistakes of the last decade – austerity and choking off growth to pay down debt doesn’t work and damages lives.”

Mr Khan’s response to the Spending Review sparked a backlash on social media.

One Londoner tweeted: “You have done nothing meaningful for Londoners since being mayor.

“You have ruined London so bore off. Not interested in your blame games.”

Another said: “You’re the right one to know about damage to the economy in London, now fix it.”

And another said: “We need a Mayor who understands basic economics and has London’s best interest at heart.”

Mr Khan has come under increasing pressure over his financial management during the coronavirus crisis amid claims he had “squandered” billions in tax-payers money and accusations from Boris Johnson that he had “bankrupted” TfL.

The London mayor angrily denied responsibility for TfL’s financial black hole, blaming both the pandemic and Mr Johnson’s previous City Hall administration for the cash crisis.

Earlier this month Mr Khan demanded the removal of a fact-checking website, published on behalf of his Tory mayoral rival Shaun Bailey, which accused him of “bankrupting” TfL through “out-of-control” waste.

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The site attacked Mr Khan’s management of TfL in the wake of the second bail-out from the Government.

It claimed TfL had “wasted” £9.56billion since 2016, when Mr Khan became mayor, including on pension “overpayments”, debt interest and lost revenue caused by delays to the Crossrail project.

And it claims losses in fares during the coronavirus crisis have only amounted to only £1.6bn.

TfL rejected the claims, insisting income from fares had fallen by 90 percent during the coronavirus pandemic as Londoners worked from home and tourists stayed away.

In March, passengers were urged not to travel unless absolutely necessary and 40 Tube stations across London were closed in order to deal with staff absences.

Lockdowns, restrictions on sport and entertainment events and night-time curfews on pubs, bars and restaurants have also had a massive impact on TfL finances.

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