Jon Burke, Labour’s City Hall adviser on economics, tweeted late on Tuesday night:
Just leaving the office after one of the least satisfying days of my working life. #glabudget
— Cllr Jon Burke (@jonburkeUK) January 26, 2016
Consequently on Wednesday the Labour group on the London Assembly didn’t put forward an alternative London budget. The Assembly held the final vote on Boris’s last annual budget for the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London, the fire brigade and other City Hall agencies where traditionally opposition parties bring forward a costed alternative budget which they hope to persuade other groups to back in place of the mayor’s budget. The ensuing debate allows them to set out their own priorities for London. The rumour flying around is that Khan was in City Hall on Tuesday and had a massive argument with Len Duval, leader of the Labour Group, consequently they could not agree on an amendment. So Labour offered no alternative budget plan in an election year….
The Tories have immediately seized on the issue:
Could it be that Sadiq Khan calculates that coming clean with the voters about costs in an election year could cost him votes? Labour don’t want to admit to putting up taxes in writing, and that Sadiq’s sums don’t add up on his fares policy or policing costs? City Hall staff had apparently spent weeks costing Labour’s alternative plans. LibDem assemblyman Stephen Knight claims Labour’s plans have been shredded “on the orders of” Sadiq. Better to offer no voter repelling costed alternative than admit that London Labour, the looniest in the land, plans to go the full Corbyn, implementing socialism in the capital….