Minister accuses Sadiq Khan of *checks notes* doing his job

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 (West End Final)
(West End Final)

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps produced a bit of a head-scratcher today, accusing Sadiq Khan of “public lobbying” over the proposed cuts to Transport for London services.

As political scandals go, the Mayor of London making public statements as part of a negotiation over better terms for his constituents is not exactly Watergate. But it has led me to this fun game with endless variations. How about:

‘The Government has accused the Queen of being a symbol of unity and stability’ or ‘Ministers have condemned the local improv troupe for making things up as they go along.’ Try it for yourself.

More pertinent to Londoners and the future prosperity of our city are the actual details of the possible cuts to TfL services, which are so wide-ranging that each could fill a headline for days on end.

Let’s look at one – cycles schemes. Separated bike lanes are vital for rider safety, which will in turn encourage greater take-up, less congestion, better air quality. What’s not to love? (Yes, I don’t own a car, but in fairness I don’t have a bike either.)

As our local democracy reporter Joe Talora reports today, safety upgrades at several dangerous junctions in London as well as TfL’s wider Healthy Streets programme – which promotes walking and cycling – are facing the axe as a result of the cuts, while TfL’s Santander cycle hire scheme will not be expanded as planned.

Campaigners have warned it would be “absolute insanity” for the Government to invest in walking and cycling elsewhere in the country only to see London “fall backwards” without a long-term funding deal.

Elsewhere in the paper, if you ever struggle to find a public toilet in the capital and it’s, erm, an emergency, you’re not alone.

In the comment pages, Reveller Editor David Ellis explains that escaping party bores is an art form, and provides his how-to guide on performing the perfect extrication.

And finally, there’s nothing wrong with a late-night kebab but if you want to elevate your wee hours food consumption, check out our guide on where to eat in London after midnight.

Have a lovely weekend.

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