LBC Fact-Checks Boris Johnson's Claim About Garden Bridge Funding

25 June 2019, 12:20 | Updated: 25 June 2019, 12:44

After Boris Johnson claimed that Sadiq Khan was responsible for £17m of the Garden Bridge funding, LBC looked into whether he was correct. Here's what we found.

During Boris Johnson's LBC phone-in with Nick Ferrari, the former Mayor of London was asked about the controversial Garden Bridge, in which over £50m was spent without even a brick being laid.

He said: "Actually, it was an excellent project on which the current Mayor lavished £17million and then decided to cancel it when there was ample private funding available to continue with the project."

When asked if the project could have gone ahead, he responded: "Yes of course it could. I don't seek to understand why he decided to cancel it, but there was ample private funding."

READ: 10 things we learnt from Boris Johnson's LBC phone-in

LBC's Political Editor Theo Usherwood investigated his claims and found what he said was not correct.

Speaking to James O'Brien, Theo said: "There are two points there. The first is that Sadiq Khan spent £17million on the Garden Bridge. That's not correct.

"The construction contract that was rushed through before Boris Johnson left office in February 2016 in order to keep the project afloat was £21m. The £17m is a chunk of that that was signed off by Boris Johnson.

"But that money was spent during Sadiq Khan's tenure. That's what he's trying to get around with that one.

Boris Johnson made a claim about the Garden Bridge that LBC checked
Boris Johnson made a claim about the Garden Bridge that LBC checked. Picture: Heatherwick Studio / LBC

"The other thing is that there was ample private funding. But there was never private funding to complete the project and that's what Sadiq Khan always said to the Garden Bridge Trust - if you want to build this bridge, then you need to have money that goes all the way to the end of the project, so that we don't end up with a half-built bridge across London."