Boris Accuses Sadiq Of Killing Off Garden Bridge Out Of Spite
14 August 2017, 13:46
Boris Johnson has laid the blame for the failure of the Garden Bridge on his successor as Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
The Garden Bridge Trust today formally closed down after the Mayor refused to provide guarantees for the growing costs.
£50m of taxpayers' money has already been spent on the project and last week, Mr Khan confirmed none of that will be recovered.
Focus will turn to Mr Johnson, who gave the project the green light. But he said the project was "easily financed" and was killed off by Mr Khan "out of spite".
A spokesperson for Boris Johnson told LBC: "It is so sad that Sadiq Khan has killed off the Garden Bridge and wasted so much time and money.
"Labour has no vision for London and no ambition.
"City Hall has failed to secure Crossrail 2, has done nothing to extend the tube, has failed to begin any new river crossings and is failing to build anything like enough homes. And crime is now rising - especially knife crime.
"The Garden Bridge was a beautiful project and could have been easily financed.
"The Labour Mayor claimed to support it but support it, but killed it out of spite because it was not initiated in his period of office."
But City Hall hit back telling LBC: "This letter [from the Garden Bridge Trust] akes clear that this was a Boris vanity project and totally dependent on him.
"It's wrong to say that £9m was spent under Sadiq Khan. This was money the government had committed and it remains true that no new London taxpayers' money has been committed to the project since Sadiq became Mayor.
"Sadiq has been crystal clear since before he took office that he was not prepared to commit new taxpayers' money to the project and it was up to the Garden Bridge Trust to secure a sustainable funding arrangement.
"There was not an open, fair and competitive process around the two TfL procurements for the Garden Bridge Project. The two procurements revealed systemic failures and ineffective control systems at many levels.
"The Garden Bridge Trust's finances are in a precarious state and many outstanding risks remain unsolved."
The project has been steeped in controversy from the start - and LBC's investigation makes for a remarkable read.