Sadiq Khan has been accused of lying about public transport fare increases set to be imposed in the capital.
The London Mayor blamed the government for price hikes and free-travel restrictions he said are part of a £1.6 billion lockdown rescue package for Transport for London (TfL).
The new fares would weigh the burden of bailing out TfL on ordinary Londoners after its profits slumped by 90 per cent he said in a statement.
“They [the government] want the fares to go up next January ending the four years fares freeze I delivered after the last election.
“I had no choice but to accept it to keep the Tubes and buses running.”
But candidate for Mayor Shaun Bailey claimed Mr Khan was preparing to increase fares before the pandemic.
Speaking to talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, he said: “Over a year ago people were talking about him having to raise fares. He wrote an article in the Evening Standard about it.
“For him to come out this morning and act like it’s because of the government is an utter lie.”
Mr Bailey also accused the Labour mayor of “poor management” throughout the pandemic.
“He has been largely absent through this crisis when we need him most, and the only time he's popped up is to use us as a bargaining chip,” he told Julia.
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