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Friday, 20 April 2012

Labour demand answers from the Tories as the Greens condemn the Chairman of Addison Lee

The Chairman of Addison Lee, John Griffin, who it was reported in the Guardian has given a donation of more than £250,000. to the Conservative party, a donation that the Labour party are demanding to know more about as they claim Mr Griffin's name was not published when the Conservative party released their donors list on March 26th. 

However Mr Griffin has sparked outrage from the Green party after he made comments that " I think cyclists are not properly trained. The facts are that somebody who has never ridden a bike in their life can go out and hurl themselves into one of the busiest capitals in the world. That is irresponsible.

“Cyclists just go out in shorts and trainers, all gung-ho. I do think there is a critical issue. This is about people dying. We have to take it seriously. This idea of gay abandon, that you can do anything and everybody else should step aside... The problem is that our roads are not designed to have special roads for cyclists. There needs to be a cycling proficiency test. Cyclists should take that test before they are allowed on the roads. It’s in their interest. We would become more appreciative of the efforts they are making.”

In response to head of Addison Lee John Griffin’s comments on cycling deaths and injuries on London’s roads, in which he criticised the views of ‘Green Party candidates and others’, Green Mayoral candidate Jenny Jones said:

“These remarks demonstrate a shocking disregard for the lives and safety of London’s growing number of cyclists and road users in general. To suggest that the victims of road traffic incidents only have themselves to blame is horrifically offensive to the families of those who have lost their lives or been injured on London’s roads. By electing more Greens to the London Assembly in May, London can make sure our roads can accommodate all road users—including cyclists and pedestrians—rather than this obnoxious focus on the speed of cars. I will not again use an Addison Lee taxi and am happy to join those calling for a total boycott of their organisation.” 

Labour's Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle has written a letter to the Conservative party Chairman Baroness Sayeeda Warsi to get clarification about the donation to the Conservative party by Mr Griffin. Miss Eagle claims that "Mr Griffin was not mentioned on the lists of Conservative Party donors which were released by the Conservatives on 26 March. Maria Eagle raises a number of questions for the Conservatives and the Government to answer".

Despite Mr Griffin's donation to the Conservative party, he maintains that he had not donated to Boris Johnson’s re-election campaign but would be voting for him as he was “somebody in politics with a sense of humour”.