Sadiq Khan sets up website to enable Londoners to donate vehicles to Ukraine

16 December 2023, 07:14 | Updated: 18 December 2023, 07:25

Sadiq Khan has set up a website enabling Londoners who have a suitable non-compliant vehicle to donate their vehicles directly to Ukraine.
Sadiq Khan has set up a website enabling Londoners who have a suitable non-compliant vehicle to donate their vehicles directly to Ukraine. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Kit Heren

Sadiq Khan has expressed his frustration that sending non-compliant ULEZ vehicles to Ukraine via the scrappage scheme is not within his legal powers but has instead set up a website for the capital's residents to donate directly.

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Ukrainian officials had asked for the vehicles, many of which are 4x4s and pick-up trucks, to be shipped over instead of being scrapped under the Ulez scrappage scheme.

Under the scheme, Londoners are able to collect a £2,000 payment for having their polluting vehicle scrapped. If they carry on using a non-compliant vehicle, they have to pay £12.50 per day.

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote to Mr Khan in September to ask him to have the vehicles donated, saying that they would have "enormous potential" and be deployed in a "variety of life-saving and transport roles" in Ukraine.

But Mr Khan wrote to Mr Klitschko this week to say that the request did not meet the "legal threshold" that would mean it would benefit Londoners from an "economic, social and environmental perspective", the Telegraph reported.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: "Sadiq wants to support Ukraine in any way he can and is deeply frustrated that sending Londoners’ non-compliant ULEZ vehicles to Ukraine via the scrappage scheme is not within his legal powers.

"So instead he has set up a website enabling Londoners who have a suitable non-compliant vehicle to donate their vehicles directly to Ukraine.

"He’s also asked the GLA to work with TfL, London Fire Brigade and the Met to see whether they can send any suitable vehicles to Ukraine - and a number of London fire engines have already gone to help the cause."

Read more: Sadiq Khan condemns 'grotesquely irresponsible' Ulez camera explosion as counter terror cops investigate 'low tech IED'

Read more: Ulez expansion brings in £26m in first month as 57,000 drivers face daily charges

The vehicles would have been used in a variety of ways, including on the front line
The vehicles would have been used in a variety of ways, including on the front line. Picture: Getty

However, many have criticises the London Mayor.

Susan Hall, the mayor's Conservative opponent in next year's election, said: "Sadiq Khan’s refusal to send scrapped Ulez cars to Ukraine, citing a legal quirk, is absurd.

"Londoners who choose to scrap their cars should have the freedom to decide for themselves if they want their car sent to support Ukraine.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko made the request
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko made the request. Picture: Alamy

“Standing with Ukraine against tyrants like Putin is not only a moral imperative but also in the best interest of all Londoners and the global community."

Richard Lofthouse, who works with Car for Ukraine, a scheme to deliver 4x4s and trucks to the front line, slammed Mr Khan for showing a "lack of political courage”.

Gareth Johnson, the Conservative MP for Dartford who opposed the scheme's August expansion, said he was "gobsmacked" by the decision. "Anything that helps the people of Ukraine benefits all of us," he said.

Sadiq Khan
Sadiq Khan. Picture: Getty

A spokesperson for Mr Khan said: "The mayor is utterly appalled by Russia’s ongoing illegal invasion of Ukraine and the capital stands in solidarity with the millions of Ukrainians affected by this awful war.

"The mayor’s team have been in contact with their counterparts in Kyiv since the start of the war and the mayor remains determined to help in any way he can.

"Unfortunately, altering the Ulez scheme for the purpose of exporting vehicles to Ukraine is not possible within the current limits of the GLA [Greater London Authority] Act.

"However, Sadiq has asked his officials to work directly with Mayor Klitschko’s team to see how we can help promote this initiative from Ukrainian charities and the GLA also continues to work with its functional bodies and will support them in any vehicle donations that they can make through national donation schemes.

"The GLA will also continue to monitor opportunities which may arise through such schemes."

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