Boris Johnson will announce later today that he is scrapping The Londoner newspaper currently distributed to all households in London on behalf of the Mayor.
The Mayor will announce that the estimated £2.9 million cost of the paper will be diverted to other projects including the planting of 10,000 new street trees on London streets. Later this morning Mr Johnson is expected to attend a planting ceremony in Brixton organised by Trees for Cities.
In a statement issued Monday evening Mayor Johnson said “I believe that as many areas as possible should enjoy the many advantages that street trees bring. So today I have taken the decision to cut unnecessary funding of the Mayor’s personal publicity budget to plant 10,000 street trees by the end of my first term.”
“Trees improve the street environment in which Londoners live and work so I will do all I can to save the trees we have and campaign for more trees to protect London’s open spaces.”
However there are fears that scrapping The Londoner could inadvertently aid the BNP. The Greater London Authority currently has a registered trademark for the term covering newsletters distributed by the Mayor. If the Authority ceases to use the mark for the registered services it could eventually be removed from the register of trademarks.
In February the Authority threatened the BNP with a trademark infringement lawsuit after the party was found to be distributing leaflets under the same name. If the mark were to be struck off or ceased to be used such action would become impossible.
The planting of the extra trees was a manifesto commitment by Mayor Johnson and Londoners will be given the opportunity to vote via the london.gov.uk website for where the trees should be planted.