London plans for trains and road tax that could come into force after Keir Starmer and Sadiq Khan's meeting

Sadiq Khan Mayor of London (third left), Pat McFadden (centre) Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Richard Parker (second right) Mayor of the West Midlands, during a meeting with English regional mayors hosted by Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer, at 10 Downing Street
-Credit: (Image: Ian Vogler/Daily Mirror/PA Wire)

Sadiq Khan has met the new Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer, in Downing Street this morning as he aims to acquire new powers over London railway lines and taxes. The capital's mayor has told MyLondon that he would like to have control of £500 million from road taxes levied in the city, which are currently collected by the Treasury.

During the London mayoral campaign in the spring, Mr Khan also said that he wants Transport for London (TfL) to take control of commuter railway lines when their private contracts expire, creating a 'revolutionary metro-style' system. MyLondon reported on June 6 that Labour's plan to nationalise the country's railways could mean that the mayor will have to amend his promise.

During an exclusive interview with MyLondon in March, Mr Khan said of taxes: "One of the things I'd like to talk to the Government about is devolving to us the monies they raise through vehicle excise duty. Drivers in London pay, roughly speaking, pay £500 million in what we call road tax. That road tax money goes to the Treasury very little comes back to Londoners.

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"One of the conversations I want to have with Treasury is how we can simplify things, so road tax, other things." Mr Khan added: "Imagine you're driving, you're paying your road tax, you're paying charges during the course of a day. Technology can make it easier, but working with the Treasury, the DfT and others, we need to think about how we can make it easier across the country."

In addition, the Evening Standard reports that the mayor is backed by the Centre for London think-tank, which supports more control over skills, transport and local taxes such as a 'tourist tax'. At the moment, City Hall has to power to impose a precept on council tax bills and a supplementary rate on business rates.

The mayor told the London Assembly on July 5: "I will continue to make the case for fiscal devolution alongside other Mayors as it can incentivise stronger economic growth among its many other benefits."

Meeting a 'statement of intent'

Speaking to PA this morning, Mr Khan said the meeting of metro mayors inside Downing Street showed a 'real statement of intent' from Sir Keir Starmer. The mayor added: “I think it shows a real statement of intent from Keir Starmer as the new Prime Minister – the Tuesday after the Thursday landslide victory, meeting with the 12 Metro mayors.

“Angela Rayner was also present, the Deputy Prime Minister, Pat McFadden, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster – it was really important to get us in, but also to discuss with us how we should be working together going forward rather than the Government holding back the mayors.

“I think what we’ve seen this morning is the Government wanting to work with us to make sure we get growth across the country in all our areas, but also supporting the Government at the centre.” He also said: “We’re frankly speaking fed up of competing against each other. The previous government pitted different mayors against each other. That’s not going to happen with Keir Starmer.”

Sir Keir told MyLondon in June: "We will work together. [Sadiq Khan] has got good plans on transport. He’s got good plans on housing - one of our missions is to build 1.5 million houses - working together with the mayor and we can deliver on these much needed promises for the country.”

Read about the issues that could cause friction between Sadiq Khan and Sir Keir Starmer in the coming years here.

We have also written about the biggest issues facing Labour in the capital, including crime and housing. You can read about those here.

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