Tory London mayor candidate roasted for fake image in Sadiq Khan attack ad

The altered image posted by Susan Hall shows a picture of a 'pay-per-mile' sign... a policy which does not exist.

Susan Hall at an anti-Ulez protest earlier this year. (PA)
Susan Hall at an anti-Ulez protest earlier this year. (PA)

The Conservatives' London mayoral candidate has been criticised for posting a fake image in an attack advert against Sadiq Khan.

Susan Hall, whose campaign has been characterised by gaffes and controversial comments, posted an image of two road signs on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The first is an ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) sign, which was controversially expanded by Khan into London’s suburbs last year. The second sign reads “pay per mile zone”. The image is accompanied by Hall’s caption: “Don’t want to see this on every street corner? Stop Sadiq Khan’s pay-per-mile plans. Vote for change.”

However, the picture has been altered, given a pay-per-mile policy is not in force in London and Khan has insisted will not be introduced. The original appears to have been taken from photographer Matt Brown’s Flickr account.

The London Labour Party led criticism of Hall, saying: “This sign does not and will never exist. Sadiq has been clear - ruling out Pay Per Mile categorically while he is mayor.

“This is a photoshopped image and is a lie.”

Among dozens of other users criticising Hall was human rights lawyer Shoaib Khan, who said: "Why do you keep making a fool of yourself when you get caught out every single time?"

Another user said: "To be fair to you, all you seem to promise is based on lies, so kudos for being consistent with this fake photo."

Yahoo News UK has approached the London Conservatives for comment about the post.

Where has the pay-per-mile row come from?

Since Khan expanded Ulez to cover the entire capital - meaning anyone in a vehicle that does not meet minimum emissions standards is required to pay a £12.50 daily fee or risk a £180 fine, reduced to £90 if paid within 14 days - his opponents have accused him of waging a “war on motorists”.

This narrative continued in February when The Telegraph reported Khan was spending £150m “on a secret technology project capable of charging motorists a pay-per-mile road tax”.

The paper reported it would enable Transport for London (TfL), which Khan is chair of, to introduce “more sophisticated… new core technology platform for road-user charging”. City Hall Conservatives claimed this could pave the way to pay-per-mile charging: the focus of Hall’s altered photo.

However, in the same report, TfL said: “Pay-per-mile charging has been ruled out by the mayor and no such scheme is on the table or being developed.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 04: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (C) speaks with a group of people who have experienced difficulties and unfair treatment from private landlords, during the launch of his
Sadiq Khan has said pay-per-mile will not be introduced. (Getty Images)

And less than two weeks ago, Khan reaffirmed this by saying in a letter to London’s transport commissioner Andy Lord: "There is clearly still more to do to tackle air pollution, and I’m determined to continue leading from the front in London.

“But my commitment to Londoners is this will not include a new pay-per-mile road user charging scheme or amending the standards for the Ulez scheme."

All this comes as polling suggests Ulez isn't even a priority for most voters.

A Survation poll of 1,019 Londoners, released yesterday, found only 6% described Ulez as the most important issue for them ahead of the mayoral election.

This was behind the cost of living (41%), crime (12%), health (11%) and the capital's economy and housing (both 9%).

Read more