London’s transport commissioner has claimed almost £180 on expenses to buy toy buses for Mayor Boris Johnson.
In January we reported that senior Transport for London executives had charged taxpayers thousands of pounds for taxis, magazine subscriptions, meals and internet use.
The single largest claimer of expenses was TfL Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy whose claims included more than £2,500 on taxis and travelling costs.
New figures covering claims made between 15th September and 31st December 2012 show that Sir Peter claimed a further £800 on taxis during the closing months of the year.
TfL repeated its defence of Sir Peter’s taxis use, stating: “He is overseeing the delivery of a ten-year multi-billion pound budget to manage transport in London, and also deliver Crossrail and the upgrade of the Tube and there are occasions when his full schedule and late hours necessitate the use of taxis (which, of course, TfL licenses).”
Sir Peter’s expenses also include £179.70 for “Die Cast Models of NBfL for Mayor”.
NBfL is TfL’s in-house abbreviation for the New Bus for London, the Mayor’s new bus which is due to enter regular service later this year.
According to a press release issued in October by die cast toy specialists Corgi, the company “has the exclusive rights from Transport for London to produce this bus in die-cast.”
The statement suggests fare-payers have picked up the tab for making the Mayor a gift of toys licensed by his own organisation, rather than the licensee providing them at no cost.
The toy buses do not appear to be listed in the Mayor’s public register of gifts and hospitality.
Answering an FOI from this site, TfL declined to provide details of expenses claimed after January 1st 2013. However these figures are due to be published online “within the next 4-6 weeks”.
Commenting on the latest expenses claims, Green party London Assembly Member Darren Johnson said: “Not only are Londoners paying massively over the odds for the New Bus for London, they are also being asked to pay massively over the odds for toy buses for Boris Johnson. An unbelievable waste of public money.”