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Livingstone unlikely to win case against Tube PPP

LONDON'S NEW Mayor Ken Livingstone has little chance of legally challenging the Government's public private partnership for London Underground, according to legal experts this week.

As the policy was already enshrined in the Greater London Assembly Bill, lawyers told NCE that Livingstone would have little chance of successfully challenging it in court.

Under the terms of the bill the Government will retain control of London Underground before handing over the system next year to Transport for London, a new body to be chaired by the Mayor. This will enable the Government to push ahead with its favoured PPP scheme under which private consortia would repair, maintain and upgrade the network while operation remains public.

Senior law lecturer at the London School of Economics Colin Scott said: 'If a minister makes a decision, within the terms of the GLA Act it cannot be challenged as long as that minister has acted reasonably and taken all relevant information into account.

Civil servants will have been very careful to 'judge-proof' the document.'

Specialist judicial review lawyer Peter Watson of Allen & Overy added: 'A judicial review can question the use of powers but not the powers themselves. I doubt if a judicial review could quash the PPP.'

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