Anti-Ulez protests hijacked by Nazis, says Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan - Aaron Chown/PA Wire
Sadiq Khan - Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Sadiq Khan has claimed that Nazis have infiltrated anti-Ulez protests in his latest attack on the opposition to the expansion of the zone.

Speaking to The Telegraph, the mayor of London said that Nazi sympathisers had latched on to the protests from “decent Tories” who opposed expanding Ulez to all 32 London boroughs.

It comes just weeks after he caused outrage by claiming that the far-Right, Covid-deniers and anti-vaxxers were in coalition with anti-Ulez protesters.

When asked about the comments, Mr Khan doubled down and added Nazis to the list of groups he thought had joined the anti-Ulez protesters.

He said: “I’m quite clear, outside Ealing Town Hall [on the night of the People’s Question Time], there were people holding up swastika banners.

“My worries are they are latching on to decent Tories, to decent people, who oppose the Ulez expansion.”

anti-Ulez - Elliott Franks
anti-Ulez - Elliott Franks

He said many people opposed Ulez for good reasons, and he was keen to talk about these problems and would try to address the concerns in the coming weeks.

But he added: “You need to understand that their opposition has been latched on to by anti-vaxxers, by Covid deniers, conspiracy theorists and Nazis.”

Outside of the question time event earlier this month, there were a number of protesters outside holding banners, which included reports of some containing swastikas.

Emily Thornberry, the Labour MP, tweeted that she had seen “at least one swastika with Mr Khan’s face on it” while she had also seen “a coffin” brought by a protester.

Following Mr Khan’s comments about the far-Right, the GLA Conservatives called on Labour members and party leader Sir Keir Starmer to publicly condemn what had been said.

Nick Rogers, the GLA Conservatives transport spokesman, wrote a letter to the Labour leader saying that the words were a “slur against thousands upon thousands of Londoners”.

Mr Khan plans to expand the Ulez zone across the whole of London in August. Under the new rules, drivers with vehicles that do not meet emissions standards will be forced to pay £12.50 for each day that they drive their vehicle.

However, they have been met with fierce opposition by politicians and Londoners in outer London who are set to be hit by the new charge.

This has spilt over to some Londoners vandalising some Ulez cameras installed to police the newly expanded zone. The Telegraph reported last month on images of Ulez cameras in south London that had seen their wires cut, while one camera had seen its lens painted over.

New figures from the mayor’s office revealed that 31 cameras that had been installed as part of the expansion had been vandalised as of last week.

This marks around one in ten of all new cameras, with TfL revealing last month that 312 cameras had been installed so far across the expanded zone.

Commenting on the growing instances of vandalism, Mr Khan said that all forms of protest should be peaceful and law-abiding.

He said: “People who break the law, whether it’s criminal damage of cameras or criminal damage in other parts of our city, the police and TfL will take it very seriously.”