A civil war within the left-wing Labor Party is intensifying as it grapples with the failure to pick up former Boris Johnson’s seat in Parliament largely over London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ ULEZ green agenda policy which will tax any car driven in London next month.
The failure of the Labor Party to win the Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election this week showed the party is “doing something wrong”, Labor leader Sir Kier Starmer said on Saturday.
The Tories managed to hang on to the seat by a few hundred votes, well below the 7,210 majority obtained by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson less than four years ago. However, the victory came as something of a shock since the Conservatives have been in political freedom for the past year.
As such, many people pointed out that London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s green scheme to extend the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) tax to all 33 of the city’s boroughs in August was not being demanded. Starting next month, drivers can expect to pay between £12.50 and £27.50 a day for the privilege of driving in London, which will be particularly challenging for working-class people who need to travel in and out of the city for their jobs.
Commenting on election failures, Sir Keir Starmer appeared to refer to the ULEZ scheme, saying per Sky News: “That result in Uxbridge shows that there is never any reason to be complacent and there is never any reason to rest on our laurels.
“It is remembered that there are matters of policy in an election… We are doing something very unfair if policies put forward by the Labor Party end up on every Tory leaflet.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s anti-car ULEZ tax scheme is part of a wider “war on human freedom” @LozzaFox
— Kurt Zindulka (@KurtZindulka) July 18, 2023
But despite the Labor leader’s acknowledgment that the ULEZ expansion should probably be dropped, Mayor Khan has only doubled down on his unpopular policy, and clashed with the party leadership.
For his part, Khan noted that the Uxbridge seat had never been controlled by the Labor Party in his lifetime.
“However, I am quite clear that the policy to extend the Ultra-Low Emission Zone is the right one, it was a difficult decision to make but just as nobody would accept drinking the dirty water why would you accept the dirty air?” he said.
There is also growth murmurs Khan’s insistence on sticking to the plan could jeopardize his chances for re-election next year, with popular challenger City Assemblywoman Susan Hall. voting that she would scrap the expansion on “day one” if elected.
UK Reform party candidate Howard Cox has gone even further, saying he would scrap ULEZ in its entirety, including in central London. Last month, Cox accused BBC management of colluding with Mayor Khan’s office to shape coverage of the unsavory scheme. Speaking from an anti-ULEZ protest on Saturday morning outside BBC headquarters in London, Cox being claimed that orders are still in place ordering local reporters to clear their cover on ULEZ with the top brass.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 26, 2023