Boris Johnson is facing calls to confirm whether tickets for the New Year’s Eve fireworks display bought from online touts will be accepted on the night.
While City Hall’s official seller, See Tickets, is selling tickets for £10 each, touts are offering them for up to £500.
Last week the Mayor claimed the decision to introduce tickets for the display was made after Transport for London and the Met police expressed concerns about the safety of crowds, which last year exceed 500,000, and the ability to disperse them after the event.
London Assembly Members have warned that Londoners will be unhappy to see ticket touts and re-sale sites profiting from a taxpayer funded event.
Earlier today Green Party AM Darren Johnson said: “One option is for the Mayor to suspend the sales until he has thought this through a bit better and put in safeguards.”
The risk of touting was first raised at last week’s Mayor’s Question Time session by Labour leader Len Duvall.
The party’s economy spokesperson, Fiona Twycross, has now written to the Mayor seeking clarification about the acceptance of resold tickets.
In her letter, Ms Twycross asks: “Can you now confirm whether tickets sold-on by touts will be accepted at the event and, if so, why no system was put in place to prevent the public – who have paid for this event through their taxes – from being ripped off?”
In a statement she added: “This is a celebration funded entirely by the public through their taxes.
“It is bad enough that Boris Johnson wants to exclude many families from this event who will not be able to afford a £10 ticket; but it is absolutely shameful that no protection appears to have been put in place to prevent touting.
“Touting was successfully prevented during the London Olympics, so it would highlight an extraordinary level of carelessness if it emerges that these same policies weren’t automatically applied to this event as well.”
Mayor Johnson’s office has urged people to only buy from the official london.gov.uk website.
However there was some confusion about buyers’ eligibility for refunds.
The Mayor’s office said anyone who purchased a ticket could obtain a refund simply by returning the ticket, however the official booking site initially claimed tickets were non-refundable unless buyers took out an optional protection plan.
That claim has now been removed from the site.
A City Hall spokesperson said customers who’ve paid for a protection plan will be refunded and re-confirmed that all tickets can be returned for a refund if the buyer can no longer use them.