Boris Johnson, Crossrail, Grant Shapps, Lies, London, Politics, Railways
To save my blood-pressure and give my spleen a break I’ve steered clear from much political commentary recently. Let’s face it, if I was going to fact-check every lie our Transport Secretary and Prime Minister uttered I’d have a full-time job on my hands.
But today, the lies have really caught my eye because they’re on the back of a good news story which was announced earlier, which is that Crossrail – the new main line railway under London – will open on the 24th May. Of course tomorrow is the local elections across the UK in which the Tories are widely expected to get a spanking from the electorate. People are fed up of the lies and disinformation over Covid, Brexit and ‘Partygate’. The Tories answer? Double-down on the lies, get your friends in the media to plant ‘look over there’ stories and do *exactly* what you accuse your opponents of doing.
Today Transport Minister Grant Shapps tried to accuse Sadiq Khan, the Labour Mayor of London of breaking election ‘purdah’ rules by admitting that Crossrail would open this month (link). Really? Here’s Sadiq’s tweet – which makes no political point whatsoever.
Unlike Shapp’s Tweet an hour later which is emblazoned with the Conservative party logo…
It gets worse. The liar in chief, one Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, also known as the Prime Minister joined in with this tweet – in which he just couldn’t stop lying…
“I’m proud to have secured the investment”? Really? No. It’s a downright lie – as anyone who understands anything about the history of Crossrail knows.
The Crossrail Hybrid Bill was introduced to Parliament in February 2005 (under a Labour government). It passed 2nd reading on the 8th November 2007 (under a Labour Government). This meant the principle of the bill was established and anything else was a formality. The Bill was enacted (as in it received Royal Assent, so passed into law) on 22 July 2008 (under a Labour Government). Here’s what the Crossrail website says about the funding mechanism.
“The funding framework for Crossrail was put in place in October 2007 when the Prime Minister announced that Crossrail’s cost will be met by Government, the Mayor of London and London businesses. A funding envelope of £15.9 billion was agreed to deliver the Crossrail scheme in its entirety.“
Boris Johnson was elected Mayor of London in May 2008, long after the deals were done. He’s lying. Again.
I’ve a favour to ask…
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