No new Venezuelan oil deal: Johnson declares

Boris Johnson has decided not to renew the deal
Boris Johnson has decided not to renew the deal

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has decided not to renew a controversial oil deal with Venezuela which provides cheap fuel for the capital's public transport system.

The deal, set up by former mayor Ken Livingstone, is due to end in August this year and Mr Johnson claimed the half-price bus and tram fares for those on income support funded by the scheme would continue to be honoured.

The new Conservative mayor said that Londoners were uncomfortable with the way the fuel deal was funded.

"I think many Londoners felt uncomfortable about the bus operation of one of the world's financial powerhouses being funded by the people of a country where many people live in extreme poverty," Mr Johnson said.

"I simply think there are better ways of benefiting Londoners and better ways of benefiting Venezuelans.

"We will continue to offer the half-priced travel concession to Londoners on income support for the duration for which the deal was originally planned, and will continue to improve the capital's transport system and ensure that it is accessible and able to meet the needs of all those who rely on it."

Mr Johnson also announced that the office set up to help run the scheme in Caracas would close later this year, saving an estimated £67,000 in running and staffing costs.


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