Rishi Sunak BLOCKED from overruling Sadiq Khan's hated Ulez expansion – as 'nightmare' scheme to come into force in DAYS | The Sun

MINISTERS wanted to block Sadiq Khan's hated Ulez expansion – but were told by lawyers they didn't have the power to do it.

Legal advice handed to No10 suggested attempts to stop the scheme would be overruled in court.

Ministers thought of using part of the 1999 Greater London Authority Act, allowing them to overrule the London Mayor's plan if it was "inconsistent with national policies".

But lawyers said the move would likely fail.

It comes as the expansion is due to begin in just six days.

Cars across the entirety of London that don't meet environmental standards will be whacked with a £12.50-a-day fee.

In Kent, Surrey and Herts council chiefs are refusing to erect Ulez reminder signs — insisting they will not endorse the London Mayor's plan.

Tory Herts council chief Richard Roberts branded Ulez growth a “real insult to people who are struggling”.

He told the BBC: “We don’t think the mayor consulted well on this, it's not well thought through, at a time of cost of living increase, it’s really insensitive.

“It’s taxing those who can least afford to pay individual charges."

A row is now also raging after Mr Khan’s office tried to “silence” scientists over Ulez.

Private correspondence between his environment deputy Shirley Rodrigues and Prof Frank Kelly revealed she was “really disappointed” over research findings.

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 An Imperial College study found its initial introduction in 2019 cut nitrogen oxide by less than three per cent.

However, Prof Kelly agreed to issue a statement, helped by Ms Rodrigues, saying Ulez had helped “dramatically to reduce air pollution”.

A Department for Transport Spokesperson said: “It is for the Mayor to justify the ULEZ expansion, and at a time when the Government is doing everything it can to support people with the cost of living, the Mayor is responsible for explaining whether it is fair to charge those with non-compliant vehicles £12.50 every time they drive in London.”

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