boris-and-taxiBoris is right to suggest that government ministers should get out of their cars (Daily Telegraph, 31 August 2009), certainly in central London. But he’ll have more trouble persuading his fellow Tories to use public transport than he cares to imagine.

While the quotation attributed to Margaret Thatcher that anyone who travelled by bus was a failure in life may be apocryphal, it accurately reflects the philosophy of Tory politicians, many of whom are hooked on their perks such as taxi expenses. Here at City Hall, Brian Coleman has become notorious for his use of taxis, both as London Assembly Member for Barnet & Camden and as Chair of the fire authority LFEPA. Indeed Boris’s own expenses claims for taxis last year didn’t look too good either.

Maybe Boris needs to get his own house in order before he starts telling colleagues in parliament how to go about travelling when carrying out their political responsibilities.


  1. Andrew Boff

    “Maybe Boris needs to get his own house in order”
    Perhaps you should ask your colleague Jeanette Arnold why she waited a year to pay back the GLA £200, just after the expenses had to be made public, for taxi expenses, which included personal use of her taxicard, that dated back a year?

  2. murad

    Hello Andrew. It’s nice to know that fellow Assembly Members are reading my blog.

    The fact is that Boris repeatedly abused his taxi expenses whereas Jennette’s delayed repayment was the result of an oversight that was corrected as soon as it was noticed, so there is no comparison.

  3. Andrew Boff

    “an oversight” infers one mistake and we are all only human.

    The repayment was for
    20/6/08, 13/07/08, 30/10/08, 20/11/08, 21/11/08, 01/11/08, 02/12/08, 15/12/08, 05/02/09, 12/02/09 and 24/02/09.

    I make that 11.

  4. murad

    Personal use of the taxicard is allowed within the GLA rules (as you well know Andrew). The fact that Jennette was not invoiced until the end of the term was a clerical error – the result of a misunderstanding at the administrative level at City Hall. And as you rightly state, we are all only human.

    Your concern over the use of public money for taxi expenses would be better directed towards members of your own party – Boris Johnson, for example. How do you justify Boris claiming £237.50 for a taxi trip to Edmonton from his home in Highbury? Is Boris intending to pay that back, or are you happy for the taxpayer to foot the bill?

  5. Andrew Boff

    How do you justify Boris claiming £237.50 for a taxi trip to Edmonton from his home in Highbury?
    Ask him!

  6. Pingback: The Qureshi Report » TORIES, TAXIS AND PUBLIC TRANSPORT | Taxi Opole

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