May 22 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, April 21, 2012
London Mayor Boris Johnson was forced to distance himself from an anti-cyclist rant by the boss of Addison Lee mini cab firm – amid claims it donated to the conservative candidate’s election war chest.
John Griffin wrote in the company’s in-house magazine: “These cyclists are throwing themselves onto some of the most congested spaces in the world,” he wrote.
“They leap onto a vehicle which offers them no protection except a padded plastic hat.”
Mr Griffin added that motorists undergo extensive training and pay “extortionate amounts” in taxes to drive, so cyclists should “get trained and pay up”.
The remarks were condemned by Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle MP.
“Boris Johnson must immediately distance himself from the appalling remarks about cyclists made by Tory donor John Griffin who claims that London’s Mayor entirely endorses his view that cyclists are responsible for the numbers killed and injured on the roads,” she said.
“Cyclists in London are increasingly worried about the threat to their safety from the thousands of Addison Lee cars that John Griffin has ordered to illegally use the capital’s bus lanes.
“Considering this is a man who has given Boris Johnson’s campaign £25,000 in 2008, and a further £250,000 direct to the Tory party, there are real fears that the Mayor will not take the tough action needed to protect cyclists. “
A spokesman for the London Mayor said the comments were “unacceptable,” insisting no funds have been received for the campaign from Mr Griffin.
“John Griffin’s actions are irresponsible and unacceptable, and Boris Johnson does not agree with his comments on cycling.”
“(It has been) asked whether he has received any money from Addison Lee for his re-election campaign. The answer to that is no – in contrast of course to the money Ken Livingstone has received from Unite.