Mayor failing to tackle silent killer

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At Mayor’s Question Time yesterday Murad Qureshi AM urged Mayor of London Boris Johnson to drastically improve his approach to tackling air pollution in London. Murad Qureshi challenged the Mayor over his failure to improve air quality in London, which causes over 4,000 deaths a year in the capital. 

This spring London faced two of its most serious air pollution incidents of recent years, during which the London Ambulance Service saw a 14% increase in incidents of people reporting breathing problems. The Mayor was challenged over the handling of this crisis, during which he claimed that levels of pollution were “perfectly fine”.

Mr Qureshi also pressed the Mayor to bring forward the implementation of a new Ultra Low Emission Zone from 2020 to an earlier date and to issue Londoners with formal “smog alerts”.

London Assembly Labour Group Environment Spokesperson Murad Qureshi AM said:

“One of the main problems London faces is the scandal that over 4,000 people die prematurely every year due to poor air quality. Today the Mayor refused to apologise for his unhelpful comments during the last incident which gave a false impression of the danger the smog posed.

“Air pollution is a silent killer, and Boris’ failure to get a grip of this problem is lamentable. Despite having been in office since 2008, Boris Johnson has an inexcusable record on tackling a problem which he acknowledges is one of the top environmental concerns of Londoners. The end result is Londoners suffering some of the worst air pollution of any capital city in Europe.” 



  1. Murad Qureshi is a Labour Londonwide Assembly Member.
  2. According to a study commissioned by the Mayor’s office, every year around 4,000 deaths per year in London occur due to poor air quality.
  3. London Ambulance Service Press Release on 14 per cent increase in emergency calls for patients with breathing problems.
  4. Murad Qureshi AM’s question can be found here.
  5. A recording of Mayor’s Question Time can be found here.




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