Sadiq Khan has backed down and will now provide sending Ukraine 4x4s that would be scrapped under the Ulez scheme.
Former heavyweight boxing champion Vitalii Klitschko, the Mayor of Kyiv approached Khan asking for cars set to be scrapped under London’s ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) programme, where drivers receive a one of payment of £2,000 if they scrap a car that does not meeting environmental regulations.
In September, Klitschko sent the Mayor of London a letter after he learned of the capital’s ULEZ scheme, he asked if some vehicles could be sent to Ukraine.
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Mark Harper, the Transport Secretary and the former Defence Secretary Ben Wallace wrote a joint letter to the Mayor for London to send the vehicles to Ukraine.
In a joint letter written with Wallace, is reads, “This could be most-quickly done by altering the national regulations for the Certificate of Destruction, which is required as proof that a vehicle has been permanently scrapped, to instead enable the export of suitable vehicles to Ukraine via a registered charity or national scheme.”
The letter, sent on Friday, adds: “We are optimistic you will work with us to enable Londoners and others around the country to receive money for taking polluting vehicles off our cities’ streets while providing vital support towards the people of Ukraine.”
The former Prime Minister Boris Johnson waded into the argument and accused Khan’s move to block the move as “petty and ridiculous.”
Johnson said, “The Ukrainians are more than capable of solving the quality of air problems themselves, what they need is help now to defeat a threat that is infinitely more dangerous, and that is president Putin. Khan’s actions seem to be extraordinary.”
Johnson said that Khan’s original reason for saying he has no legal powers is under the Greater London Authority Act 1999.
Johnson added, “His legal reasons for doing so are very flimsy.
“It obviously benefits Londoners, in a sense that Londoners deeply value and cherish the idea of Ukrainian freedom.
“London’s success depends on its freedom and democracy. It’s vital for London that we defend these principles everywhere.”
Johnson said that he favours Michael Gove’s letter to Khan where he set out that he will overrule the Mayor’s decision.
Johnson said, “Ukraine will confirm that the British people share a particular affinity for the Ukrainian cause and a particularly strong moral belief, as adamant as any population in the world, in [their defence].
“People in Britain want to see a free Ukraine and I’m sure they will want to send motor vehicles and anything they can to support Ukraine.”
Johnson added, “We have to accept that this is a very small thing to do but it’s something we could do, and frankly we should be doing more.
“Although this is a good thing, it’s frankly trivial by compassion. We need to be giving Ukrainians air cover and de-mining capability and long-range artillery fire that they need to expel the Russians and Putin’s army from their country.”
Last December we reported that the charity are appealing for pick-ups to rescue civilians to help combat Russian troops, and some farmers have already provided Ukraine with suitable vehicles.
They are asking for suitable models of pick-up trucks, which include the Mitsubishi L200, Nissan Navara and Ford Ranger and they will then be retrofitted with armour plating and machine guns.
The charity has said right hand drive vehicles are ideal because it confuses Russian snipers.