'You must have a view!': Shadow Chancellor refuses to provide answer on support for ULEZ

3 May 2023, 13:55

Nick Ferrari presses Rachel Reeves on ULEZ

By Georgina Greer

Nick Ferarri questioned Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves on London's ULEZ expansion, asking four times whether she was in support of it.

Nick Ferrari questioned Rachel Reeves about ULEZ on Wednesday after a report from the Centre of Economics and Business revealed that the expansion of the scheme will cost the regional economy of London five hundred and thirty-eight million pounds per year.

Nick began asking: "Do you wholly and fully support the imposition of ULEZ across the whole of London at the end of August?"

Ms Reeves responded by emphasising that she is a "Leeds MP", saying: "We don't have that up here...so I'm not across all the ins and outs of the congestion charge in London."

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Nick pushed back saying: "What do you need to know? It's an additional twelve pounds fifty per day for vehicles of a certain age. Broadly speaking, are you in support of such a measure?"

Ms Reeves answered: "We want to help people with the cost of living crisis, which is why one of the key pledges we're making in these council elections is to use that money from the windfall tax on the energy giants to freeze people's council tax this year."

She added: "My understanding is that in London there are also plans to help people to buy those more energy efficient low carbon vehicles, but I'm a Leeds MP and very focused on what is happening in my area."

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Nick responded, referring to the report from the Centre of Economics and Business, insisting: "As the Shadow Chancellor you must have a view, do you support the ULEZ expansion?"

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Ms Reeves replied stating that "there is a difficult balancing act", and referred to Ella Kissi-Debrah, a nine-year-old girl who died in 2013 in south-east London as a result of air pollution.

She continued: "Anyone who spends a significant amount of time in London can tell that the air pollution is having an impact on all of our health, and so I do understand why we want to get to low carbon emissions."

Nick interrupted, asking for the fourth time: "So do you support it?"

Ms Reeves responded: "I absolutely understand it's expensive for a lot of people, which is why the Mayor of London is putting in a scrappage scheme to help people make the transition we need."

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