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Thursday, December 8, 2022

London Tube strike: Sadiq Khan ‘failing London’ with ongoing union action, say GLA conservatives

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The GLA Conservatives said that the number of days of strikes since Mr Khan became mayor in May 2016 would this week surpass the joint total under the previous 16 years of Ken Livingstone’s and Boris Johnson’s mayoralties.

The London Underground is expected to be forced to close throughout Tuesday and Thursday due to the first network-wide action in more than five years.

Passengers have also been warned to expect that services on Wednesday and Friday morning will be “severely disrupted” due to the knock-on impact of the 24-hour walkouts by 10,000 RMT members, in a dispute over pensions and station staffing cuts.

It comes as Tube and bus fares increase by an average of 4.8 per cent from Tuesday and national rail fares by an average of 3.8 per cent.

On Monday, City Hall admitted disruption on the Tube was “inevitable” and said the Mayor was urging the RMT to return to the negotiating table. The strikes could lose Transport for London an estimated £20m in fares income.

Mr Khan’s strike record came under criticism from his Tory rivals at City Hall, who said he would reach 52 days of industrial action in less than six years as a result of the Tuesday and Thursday walk-outs – compared with 16 days of disruption in Mr Livingstone’s two terms and 35 when Mr Johnson was mayor between 2008 and 2016.

However, Mr Khan’s spokeswoman said there had been a “70.2 per cent reduction” in strike days compared with Mr Johnson, when the total number of staff shifts that were lost to strikes were counted rather than simply the days on which strikes took place.

The GLA Conservatives say that if all the proposed strikes go ahead, the number of days when there is some form of action on the Tube will reach 87 by the end of June.

Keith Prince, transport spokesman for the GLA Conservatives, told the Standard: “If the Mayor claims that he has a good strike record he’s delusional. He has the worst record of any London mayor and almost as many incidents of strike action than the two previous mayors combined. I think it’s time he admitted to himself that he’s failing London.

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