Johnson slammed over scrapped fee

Scrapping the proposed £25 charge on larger vehicles entering central London has led one Labour MP to label the capital's mayor Boris Johnson a "buffoon" with "anti-environment excesses".

But Mr Johnson was delighted with the move, saying: "It would have greatly increased congestion in the congestion charge zone and would have done zero to reduce emissions. You'd be better off going and shooting a herd of cows, quite frankly."

The decision to abandon the planned charge after a legal challenge by luxury carmaker Porsche had "set in reverse 50 years of work to improve the air quality in London", MP for Newport West Paul Flynn said.

Former Mayor Ken Livingstone had planned to raise the charge for vehicles with the highest carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to £25 in October.

At Commons question time Mr Flynn said: "One thousand five hundred people died in London last year as a result of air pollution.

"The decision will set in reverse 50 years of work to improve the air quality in London by an invitation to encourage even more polluting gas-guzzling Chelsea tractors to poison the air we breathe.

"What can the Government do to protect us from the anti-environment excesses of Boris the buffoon?" Commons Speaker Michael Martin then called for "temperate language".

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