Labour reports Tory mayoral campaign to CPS for ‘scaremongering’ over road charging claims

Labour has referred Sadiq Khan’s Conservative rival in the London mayoral race to the Crown Prosecution Service in a row over an election leaflet.

The party has asked the Director of Public Prosecutions to investigate whether a Susan Hall campaign leaflet claiming Sadiq Khan was planning to introduce road charging in London was properly labelled as political advertising.

Mr Khan has repeatedly ruled out introducing such a system.

Karen Buck MP, chair of Mr Khan’s campaign, said: “We’re now seeing tactics being used by the Tories which rival even those used in their disgraced 2016 mayoral campaign.

“The Tories are scaremongering people who are already worried about their bills thanks to the catastrophic cost-of-living crisis they created. These tactics are legally questionable and certainly mark another low in this desperate Tory campaign characterised by dirty tactics and lies.

“Sadiq has ruled out ever bringing in pay per mile as long as he’s mayor – no ifs, no buts.”

Alongside a picture on social media platform X, formerly Twitter, Ms Hall said: “Stop Sadiq Khan’s pay-per-mile plans. Vote for change.”

In a separate post Ms Hall said: “He’s (Mr Khan) spent £150m on tech for pay-per-mile already.”

Mr Khan has in the past considered, and spoken favourably about, a pay-per-mile system which would replace other charges, such as the Ultra-low Emission Zone (Ulez).

However, he has since abandoned that position and ruled out introducing such a system while he is Mayor of London. Meanwhile, Transport for London (TfL) has said that “no such scheme is on the table or being developed”.

“As of January 2024, approximately £3m had been spent on elements of the Future RUC (road user charging) project and it is now closed,” TfL added.

The row came after Mr Khan pledged to wipe out rough sleeping in the capital by 2030 if he is re-elected as London mayor.

In a speech on Monday, the Labour incumbent will promise to end “once and for all” the “indignity, fear and isolation” felt by those enduring a life on the street.

The number of people recorded sleeping rough in London has hit a record high, data shows, with homeless charities branding the statistics a “disaster”.