A row has broken out between the Mayor and London Assembly over plans to overhaul rules which regulate taxi expenses incurred by the Assembly Chair and Deputy Chair whilst on official engagements.
Under the current rules taxis used on official business should not be left waiting more than 30 minutes. A proposed change would see this restriction lifted allowing taxis to drop the Chair or Deputy off at a meeting and wait to take them on to subsequent official engagements.
Mr Livingstone claims the proposals would create a “chauffeur service”. In a statement issued today the Mayor said “the Chair of the Assembly should as much as possible set an example to the rest of Londoners and use buses, trains and the tube, not swan around London in a chauffeur-driven car.”
Speaking to MayorWatch a spokesman for the Assembly said the change applied only to the amount of time a taxi could wait and stressed that when attending official engagements the Chair and Deputy Chair carried their badges of office with them which are valued at approx £25,000 and could not be carried on buses or the tube.
The spokesman said the Mayor had the power to block the proposal as both he and the full Assembly were required to approve any changes but that AMs understood that the Mayor would accept any decision by the Assembly.
Mr Livingstone has been supported by Green Assembly member Jenny Jones who branded the proposed new rules “environmentally expensive”.