London Mayor refuses to appear at air quality inquiry

House of Commons Committee had written to Boris Johnson seeking evidence on progress towards cutting air pollution in the capital

London Mayor Boris Johnson has refused an invitation to give evidence at a recently announced House of Commons inquiry into air quality in the UK, according to the Environmental Audit Committee.

The MP committee announced the inquiry on Friday (May 2) and said it had written to Mr Johnson asking him to provide evidence on progress on cutting air pollution in the capital (see story).

Mayor Boris Johnson has come under fire for comments he has made about air quality in the capital

Mayor Boris Johnson has reportedly refused an invitation to give evidence at a select committee inquiry into UK air pollution

However, according to spokesman for the Committee, Nicholas Davies: “The Mayor of London has refused an invitation to appear before the Environmental Audit Committee to discuss his progress in cutting killer air pollution in London.”

In the letter addressed to Mr Johnson on April 30 2014, chair of the Committee Joan Walley MP  had written that she would be “grateful if you would agree to come to give evidence to us, in late June or early July”, adding that she was “looking forward to hearing from you”.

According to the letter, the Committee sought the Mayor’s input because “London has particular challenges of course in tackling air pollution because of its traffic” and the city is not expected to meet the EU standard for nitrogen dioxide until 2025.

As part of the inquiry, the letter explained, the Committee will examine the role of local authorities —including the Greater London Authority (GLA) — and the “evidence base they have for developing policies and the support they get in tackling air pollution, as well as how any European Commission fines might fall on them”.

The Mayor plans to implement an Ultra Low Emission Zone in London by 2020 among other measures (see story), and the inquiry will also look at the progress made on Low Emission Zones and imposing vehicle emissions limits.

The letter added: “It would be essential for our inquiry to look at the particular circumstances that London faces, what it is doing, and what more it could do.”


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