Jacob Rees-Mogg Labels Government Car Policy "The Greatest Scandal Of Our Time"

23 October 2017, 11:47 | Updated: 7 November 2017, 14:19

Jacob Rees-Mogg took aim at the government, the EU and car manufacturers over their collusion in what he called "the greatest scandal of our time".

Standing in for James O'Brien on LBC, the Somerset MP was discussing the introduction of the T-Charge in London, where the most polluting vehicles have to spend £20 to drive into central London.

Mr Rees-Mogg believes the government's policy to force people to buy diesel cars is a scandal and he's furious that the motorist is being forced to pay because of it.

Jacob Rees-Mogg criticised the new T-charge in London
Jacob Rees-Mogg criticised the new T-charge in London. Picture: PA / LBC

Speaking on LBC, Jacob said: "Thousands of people die earlier than they otherwise would because of the poor air quality. And so the response of the bureaucracy, which it seems to me has created a good deal of this problem, is to punish the motorist further and particularly the poorest motorists with the oldest cars.

"Shouldn't we have a tax on Transport for London for gumming up all our roads and making it impossible to go along the Embankment nowadays? Or for closing Bank Junction. The constant effort to make moving in London more difficult, the narrowing of pavements, the sequencing of lights so they seem to be red more than they were in the past.

"I think it's one of the great scandals of the modern time that the set up to encourage diesels was based on an obsession that petrol engines were putting out carbon dioxide, a failure to consider what the risks of diesel engines were, a cabal with the producers who then fiddled the tests to get it through.

"And we know all this. This isn't speculative. We know that Volkswagen fiddled the tests and were only caught when the Americans discovered what was going wrong, but the EU, the British government and the motor manufacturers were all in it together and it doesn't seem to me right that it's the British motorist who should then be penalised.

"And that the effort should instead be to increase the supply, whereas what Transport for London has been doing is to reduce the supply. Reducing the supply of road space in London when still most people want to drive around in their cars seems to me the utmost folly and is making congestion worse because one of the worst things for air quality is when there's heavy congestion.

"So it's almost a self-inflicted wound for which then the British motorist is punished."