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Khan backs Garden Bridge probe

garden bridge

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has backed a parliamentary inquiry into the £46M of taxpayers’ money used on the canned Garden Bridge scheme.

During Mayor’s Question Time at City Hall, Khan revealed he would support any potential National Audit Office (NAO) or Public Accounts Committee probe into cash wasted on the failed Garden Bridge.

In April last year Khan pulled support for the bridge after costs spiralled to more than £200M. The mayor told taxpayers they should “wave goodbye” to almost £50M of public money wasted on the bridge, on which construction never began.

Khan said: “The bad news is the monies authorised, under direction by the previous mayor, have been spent. There is no chance we can get the money back which has been spent.

“But obviously if parliament wants to look into these issues – so far parliament hasn’t – we’d assist them in relation to any inquiry they want to have.”

Khan said he would also support the NAO in an inquiry if it chose to start one. City Hall is expecting to receive a “line by line” breakdown of the Garden Bridge Trust’s spending for public money, although Khan did not confirm when this would happen.

Accounts recently published by the Garden Bridge Trust, the charity behind the project, revealed that £14.3M had been spent on pre-construction costs in 2017 alone.

But the accounts did not clarify where £46M of public money had gone, including £9M underwritten by the Department for Transport.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Philip Alexander

    I'm not sure how a public body can spend £50 million without that expenditure being open to detailed scrutiny. It is essential to get to the bottom of this misuse of public funds. There should be a judicial public inquiry.

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