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Friday, 20 April 2012

Ken tries to smear Boris, claiming non-existent donations, as Addison Lee row rumbles on

As reported earlier the Chairman of Addison Lee has provoked anger from environmentalists following his comments about the way cyclists behave on the roads. He has also called on his taxi drivers to use bus lanes despite their being a ban. Labour's Ken Livingstone has leapt on the comments releasing a statement saying:
“One of Boris Johnson’s biggest donors, John Griffin, has incited his staff to break the law, threatening to create anarchy on the roads of London. Londoners will find it difficult to understand why the Tory Mayor appears to be rewarding him for his unacceptable and illegal activity by taking no serious action. The Mayor should already have reviewed whether TfL should continue to license Addison Lee to operate as a private hire firm in London. I will do that from day one if I am elected. 
"Bus and cycle lanes are necessary so that 4 million daily bus passengers can have reliable journeys, and cyclists can travel safely. Taxis are allowed in because they are licensed to pick up and drop off passengers when they are hailed in the street and so need access to the kerb. Bringing in 60,000 private hire vehicles would simply destroy their purpose. I will simply not allow this change to take place. Inciting your employees to engage in illegal activity should mean you face the full force of British law"
However Ken is not the only one to release a statement. A spokesman for Boris Johnson’s re-election campaign said:
“Unite has today asked a number of questions of Boris Johnson regarding Addison Lee, the answers to all of which are very straightforward. They have asked whether he will condemn the company’s actions to which the answer is yes, just as he already has. They have asked whether he has received any money from Addison Lee for his re-election campaign. The answer to that is no – in contrast of course to the money Ken Livingstone has received from Unite. Their next question on whether he will return any donations is therefore not applicable. 
“They have also asked what he will do about minicabs using bus lanes, to which the answer is that he will continue to oppose it with all the powers he has as Mayor, for as long as he remains Mayor. Finally, they have asked him to promise not to cave in to Addison Lee which he has never had any intention of doing “John Griffin’s actions are irresponsible and unacceptable, and Boris Johnson does not agree with his comments on cycling."
Boris Johnson denies Ken Livingstone's claim that John Griffin is one of his "biggest donors" as he hasn't donated a penny to Mr Johnson's re-election campaign. Mr Johnson's camp are telling at the truth as John Griffin maintains that he has not donated to Boris Johnson’s re-election campaign but would be voting for him. 

Ken Livingstone needs to either put up or shut up. All donations over £7,500 must be published in accordance with the Political Parties, Elections & Referendums Act 2000, an act that was passed while Ken Livingstone was a Member of Parliament, although he couldn't be bothered to turn up and vote for it or against it for that matter. 

As Mr Livingstone claims Mr Griffin is one of Boris Johnson's "biggest donors" he'll be able to provide evidence for his allegation via the electoral commission. As both Mr Johnson & Mr Griffin deny any donation I suspect all this is, is another smear from Ken Livingstone who said a couple of weeks ago that he wanted to clean up the campaign. Looks like that was the biggest lie of the lot.