Grant Shapps slams Sadiq Khan’s ‘shameful’ decision to block cars for Ukraine scheme

Grant Shapps slams Sadiq Khan’s ‘shameful’ decision to block cars for Ukraine scheme

The Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps, has criticized London Mayor Sadiq Khan for rejecting a plan to send scrapped cars to Ukraine. The proposal aimed to use polluting 4x4s, which were scrapped under Khan’s clean air scheme, to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia. Shapps described Khan’s decision as “shameful” and accused him of having misplaced priorities.

Scrapped cars under Ulez scheme

Under Sadiq Khan’s controversial clean air regulations, Londoners are eligible to receive up to £2,000 to scrap their cars if they do not comply with the rules. However, instead of allowing these roadworthy vehicles to be repurposed for Ukraine, Khan has chosen to scrap them.

Grant Shapps’ criticism

Grant Shapps called on the Mayor to reconsider his decision, questioning why it would be better to scrap cars instead of using them to support Ukraine in the battle against Russia. He accused Khan of doubling down on an unpopular policy and expressed hope that voters would make their disapproval known at the ballot box.

Proposal from Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko

The Mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, wrote to Sadiq Khan in September proposing that cars destined for the scrapheap under the Ulez scheme be repurposed for use by the Ukrainian army. Klitschko emphasized the enormous potential of this initiative and the various life-saving and transport roles the vehicles could fulfill.

Grant Shapps slams Sadiq Khan’s ‘shameful’ decision to block cars for Ukraine scheme

Khan’s response and legal limitations

In response to Klitschko’s proposal, Sadiq Khan stated that it did not meet the legal threshold required for the scheme to benefit Londoners from an economic, social, and environmental perspective. City Hall sources clarified that Khan did not have the legal authority to implement the proposal. Instead, they have set up a webpage to direct people to the British Ukrainian Aid charity, which has been donating vehicles to Ukraine.

Sadiq Khan’s alternative solution

A spokesperson for Sadiq Khan explained that while he is unable to send non-compliant Ulez vehicles to Ukraine via the scrappage scheme, he has established a website to enable Londoners with suitable vehicles to donate them directly to Ukraine. Khan has also requested that the GLA, TfL, London Fire Brigade, and the Met explore the possibility of sending suitable vehicles to Ukraine. Some London fire engines have already been sent to assist the cause.