Published On: Thu, Sep 14th, 2023
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Sadiq Khan humiliated as he apologises for calling Tory ‘thick’ in heated ULEZ row | Politics | News

Sadiq Khan issued an apology to a Tory politician after branding him “thick” in a heated row over ULEZ.

The London Mayor said he was “really sorry” for making the comment to Conservative London Assembly member Peter Fortune at Mayor’s Question Time.

During a testy session at City Hall earlier today, Mr Fortune grilled the Labour politician on when he would publish reports into the impact of the ULEZ expansion, as was done with the original zone.

The Tory London Assembly member said: “What you’ve just said there is you’re going to follow what you did last time. What you did last time was you published a report, it’s in front of me now, I read things.

“What I’m asking is are you going to publish the report for the expansion and if you are going to can we expect it in the same sort of timeframe, say early October?”

Mr Khan said that Transport for London (TfL) would “repeat” what was done with the original ULEZ scheme in central London by releasing reports covering the first month, six months and year.

Mr Fortune said: “So you will publish the report after a month, because you can be a little bit slippy, you’re very good at this.”

The pair continued to go back and forth about when the first report would be published.

Mr Khan remarked that it is “like being back at sixth form… better debaters there”.

Mr Fortune replied: “Did you talk to handsome and intelligent men at sixth form as well?”

The London Mayor then said: “For somebody who reads a lot, he ain’t half thick.”

Mr Fortune said: “Listen, that’s when know you’re in trouble when you start getting personal.

“Remember you’re the Mayor of London, you’re a grown man, well nearly, and you should act accordingly.”

Andrew Boff, the chairman of the London Assembly, intervened to warn against the use of insults.

He said: “We should not be using personal abuse in this chamber. It’s not helpful and it makes us look a bit seedy.”

Mr Khan later paused the session to make an apology to Mr Fortune.

He said: “Can I just apologise unreservedly to Peter Fortune for calling him thick.

“I am really sorry for saying that. I have reflected on that and I shouldn’t have said that. It’s not appropriate for me to have said that, and I’m really sorry, genuinely.”

Mr Fortune said afterwards: “Londoners deserve so much better than a Mayor whose only recourse to scrutiny is to skirt the question, and dish out some low-bar insults.”

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