...By Henry George for TDPel Media.
Reform UK has announced its candidate for the upcoming 2024 London mayoral election, Howard Cox, the founder of the Fair Fuel UK campaign.
He has pledged to remove the entire Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), not just its expansion to outer London, and to abolish Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) across the capital.
Additionally, Cox has committed to increasing the number of homes built in London and reducing crime.
He has voted Conservative all his life but stated that anti-ULEZ voters should support him over the Tory candidate, as they only propose the removal of the ULEZ expansion.
Cox’s lobbying group, Fair Fuel UK, aims to reduce charges on diesel and petrol-powered vehicles, particularly fuel duty.
The candidate said that the group has stopped over £200 billion in planned tax rises, helping to keep fuel duty frozen since 2010.
Cox expressed concern that drivers across the country are being treated as “pariahs” and “an easy cash target”.
Regarding LTNs, Cox stated that he would only remove them if local communities proved they were not benefiting businesses or the community.
Cox also pledged to increase social housing and cut crime by employing more police officers.
In tweets last year, Cox denied the existence of a climate crisis and stated that he did not believe humans were responsible for global warming, although he has said that he believes in climate change.
Analysis and Commentaries
Cox’s pledge to remove the entire ULEZ, not just its expansion to outer London, is concerning, given the need to reduce air pollution in the capital.
A policy that benefits drivers of polluting vehicles over the health of Londoners is unlikely to attract a significant number of votes.
Cox’s stance on climate change is also worrying, particularly given the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions to mitigate the worst effects of the climate crisis.
Furthermore, the suggestion that the Conservative candidate will not remove the entire ULEZ is misleading, as the Conservative Party has not yet announced its candidate for the London mayoral election.
It is unfair to make such a claim without a clear understanding of the Conservative Party’s policies on the ULEZ.
The London mayoral election will be crucial for Londoners’ futures, particularly given the capital’s recent difficulties.
The Green Party’s announcement that they will be standing Hackney councillor Zoë Garbett, and the possibility of a significant candidate from the Liberal Democrats, means that Londoners will have a range of choices.
However, Cox’s policies on air pollution and climate change are likely to be significant issues in the election.