Sadiq Khan: There are too many white men on Transport for London
London's transport authority is far too dominated by white men, Labour's mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan said today.
There are currently 13 white men on the Transport for London board and just three women. Khan said he would ensure the board better reflected the "diversity" of Londoners if he becomes mayor.
"I will reshape TfL's board," he said during a speech in Brixton this morning.
"It needs to better reflect London's diversity in the interest of Londoners. Did you know there are 16 people on the board of TfL?
"Thirteen of them are white men. Thirteen. Think about it . It only has three women on it. That's less than one in five. "
He suggested the needs of women and ethnic minorities were being neglected as a result.
"Women face specific challenges on our transport network that are not currently being addressed. I was appalled about the recent decision by British transport police to scrap the sexual violence unit. Reports of sexual offences on the London Underground almost tripled over the past five years. As mayor I will take these problems seriously."
Khan today continued to face questions over his policy of freezing transport fares. TfL estimate the policy will cost £1.9 billion over the next five years, when compared to their current business plan which assumes year-on-year fares increases.
Battle of the placards outside Sadiq Khan's transport speech in Brixton. pic.twitter.com/m3BBiRQiSV
— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) March 30, 2016
Khan has repeatedly rejected TfL's business case assumptions. However, he came under pressure today after it was revealed his own claims about Zac Goldsmith's fares policy is based on the same business plan.
Khan has posted billboards claiming that Goldsmith would raise fares by 17% over the next four years, despite the fact that Goldsmith has not yet made any announcement about raising fares
When asked for the source of the 17% claim, Khan told Politics.co.uk that it was based on accepting the same fare rise and interest rate assumptions contained in the TfL business case which he has previously rejected.
Asked whether he now accepted those assumptions, he replied:
"I don't. He does. So you can't have it both ways. On the one hand you can't attack me because my plans are different to the business plan, because you're accepting the business plan, but then not accept the business plan. So he's accepted all of the business plan in relationship to investment and infrastructure, he's using the business plan to attack me. In which case you've got to accept the figures and those figures are 17% increases in fares over the next four years and he's not denied it."
Khan denied that he was also trying to "have it both ways" by using the business case against Goldsmith and instead called on the Tory candidate to answer whether he accepted TfL's fare rise assumptions
"He's the only mainstream mayoral candidate, and this is the fifth election so far, who has not explained his fares policy going into the election and hopefully your fantastic journalism will get it out of him."
Goldsmith today released his transport manifesto. There are no specific pledges on fare levels within it. However he does promise that he will use new revenues from using underground tunnels to host broadband cables, in order to "bear down on fares".
Politics.co.uk have asked Goldsmith's campaign to comment on Khan's claims that the Tory candidate will raise fares by 17%. We have not yet received a response.