Tory London mayoral candidate’s plans have £500m ‘black hole’, says Labour

Labour said Susan Hall’s plans for London would mean council tax hikes or cuts to services.

Susan Hall is expected to launch her election manifesto this week
Susan Hall is expected to launch her election manifesto this week (James Manning/PA)

The Conservative candidate for mayor of London has a £500 million black hole in her spending plans, the Labour Party has said.

Shadow cabinet minister Jonathan Ashworth claimed Susan Hall’s plans were “straight out of the Liz Truss playbook – reckless, irresponsible and uncosted” and claimed they would leave Londoners facing cuts in services or hikes in council tax and travel fares.

Analysis by the party, published as Ms Hall prepared to launch her manifesto, claimed policies announced by Ms Hall would cost £598 million and save only £83 million, leaving a £515 million shortfall.

A spokesperson for Ms Hall’s campaign said the claims were “desperate stuff” and her policies were “fully costed and accounted for”.

Among the highest-cost plans already announced by Ms Hall were a £200 million investment in the Metropolitan Police, another £110 million on returning the Met to a borough-based structure, and £180 million on scrapping London’s ultra-low emissions zone, according to the Labour analysis.

The party also criticised proposals for saving money, saying estimates for savings from abolishing some Transport for London passes were “not realistic” and changes to TfL’s pension scheme would not be possible until at least 2026.

They added that plans to tackle waste at City Hall lacked detail.

Labour said the shortfall would require a council tax increase equivalent to almost £200 for a band D property, or mean cuts to other services and increases to TfL fares.

Mr Ashworth said: “Londoners can’t afford this latest version of Trussonomics to be implemented in the capital.

“Susan Hall’s proposals are the most irresponsible set of plans from any major party candidate in the history of the mayoralty.”

A spokesperson for Ms Hall said: “This is desperate stuff from Sadiq Khan’s campaign. Susan’s commitments are fully costed and accounted for, much of which will be covered by cutting the ridiculous amount of waste in City Hall and TfL.

“By contrast, Sadiq Khan’s manifesto has around a billion pounds worth of pledges, with no explanation at all as to how he is going to pay for them, and which could only be paid for by cutting police funding and bringing in pay-per-mile.”

Sadiq Khan has previously said he has ruled out bringing in pay-per-mile road charging in London.