Ken Livingstone has accused the Conservatives of wanting to “scrap” the free Oyster cards given to London’s children following comments made by Tory Assembly Member Roger Evans on his blog.
Evans recently wrote that “the latest estimate for the cost of under 18 free travel is £55 million” and accused the Mayor of “shamelessly” spinning the scheme “a redistribution benefit.”
A visitor to the site then asked Evans: “You have previously said that free bus travel for children is a luxury London cannot afford. Does this mean that your party’s policy for the next mayoral election is that the free bus journeys for under-18s will be abolished if you win?”
In response Evans said: “Policy will be a matter for the [Mayoral] candidate to decide when they are chosen, however given the cost of this concession, the levels of anti social behaviour, and the lack of control over the issuing and checking of passes, I will be recommending abolition – if asked…”
Posting yesterday on the Guardian’s Comment is Free site the Mayor claimed the comments meant “we have a Tory party proclaiming a caring image but proposing to abolish free bus travel for children”.
Mr Livingstone said he would “fight all the way, any plan to abolish free bus travel for children, which was one of my key election commitments in 2004” and branded the prospect of axing the free Oyster cards as the most “spiteful policy since the removal of free school milk.”
MayorWatch Comment: Ken Gives Tories Wake Up Call