Boris Johnson’s office have described accusations that he misled a House of Commons select committee as “completely untrue and unfounded”.
Last month the Mayor appeared before the the environmental audit committee as part of MPs’ investigation into air quality.
In both his written and oral evidence to the committee he disagreed with data from King’s College London which suggests some roads in the capital have the highest nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations in the world.
He also disputed data suggesting measures to cut pollution, including an age limit on taxi cabs and making more vehicles subject to the Low Emission Zone, had produced only a 3% drop in roadside NO2 levels rather than City Hall’s claimed 20% cut.
City Hall has repeatedly denied suggestions that London’s air quality is the worst in the world and insists its policies are working.
Addressing MPs, Mr Johnson suggested that comparisons with other international cities may not be accurate because “we stick our sensors and our devices right by where the tailpipe of the most polluting vehicles would be expected to be found,” adding that he was “very far from convinced that that is the technique adopted by every country in the EU.
However the Clean Air in London campaign has questioned the accuracy both of the Mayor’s evidence and a report commissioned by his office on which his denials that London lags behind other cities are based.
The campaign claims the report “was already out of date by the time it was published” and failed to identify “a single monitoring site in the whole world” reporting higher levels of NO2 than reported in Oxford Street – the capital’s worst performing street.
CAL has also criticised the report for using “new and complex methodology without publishing a practically auditable trail of methodology or underlying data” which would allow its claims to be verified.
The failure to locate a monitoring site recording higher NO2 levels than London means, the campaign claims, that Mr Johnson “may have misled” the committee. CAL has suggested MPs recall the Mayor will “to address the concerns raised.”
Responding the campaign’s comments, City Hall says the report “was independently peer-reviewed to ensure the methodology it used was robust and fair” and confirms that “different cities adopt different approaches to the siting of their monitoring stations, which means that it is not possible to fairly compare the worst location in one city with another.”
A spokesperson for Mr Johnson told MayorWatch: “These claims are completely untrue and unfounded. The Mayor’s work to assess and address London’s air quality challenge is entirely transparent.
“He continues to take the problem extremely seriously and is working with a wide range of stakeholders to take forward a comprehensive range of measures to reduce air pollution and protect the health of Londoners.”