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Anti-Ulez protesters heckle Sadiq Khan and man ‘challenges mayor’s brother to a fight’ at Royal Festival Hall event promoting his new book

1 year ago 80

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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was heckled at by anti-Ulez protesters while promoting his new book about climate change at the Royal Festival Hall.

The event took place yesterday evening, and one member of the small but angry group appeared to challenge the mayor’s brother to a fight.

Mr Khan was sat on stage opposite LBC presenter James O’Brien speaking about his new book Breathe: Tackling the climate emergency, which details his goal to make London a cleaner city.

A group of around five men and one woman interrupted the mayor, shouting about the controversial Ultra-Low Emission Zones scheme, which will see the worse-polluting vehicles hit with a £12.50 daily charge.

One of Mr Khan’s brothers told them to be quiet, at which point one of the men threatened to fight him, the Evening Standard reported.

One man was evicted from the venue after shouting that ‘it was a lie’ that schoolgirl Ella Kissi-Debrah’s death had been caused by air pollution.

Ella died in February 2013, having endured numerous seizures and made almost 30 hospital visits over the previous three years.

She is believed to be the first person in UK history to have air pollution recorded on their death certificate.

Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, mother of Ella, approached one of the hecklers after the show, she told the Evening Standard: ‘I told him I didn’t appreciate him and his cronies laughing when Sadiq mentioned Ella’s death.

‘He apologised profusely and said he never laughed at that. I told him he was guilty by association by the company he keeps.’

Dr Aysha S. Raza tweeted: ‘Have to say it was the most uninspired demo & swearing profusely at Sadiq Khan as he spoke of 9 year old Ella dying of air pollution was frankly a disgusting low.’

A second man was also removed after shouting obscenities, before the rest of the group then left. One was heard loudly blowing a whistle as security escorted them away.

In response to the protests Mr Khan, who recently admitted he is suffering from PTSD after death threats, said ‘don’t let the bullies win’ and added that more people supported him than objected to his policies.

In March, Mr Khan was heckled by some members of the crowd over the Ulez expansion at a People’s Question Time event at Ealing Town Hall.

Under the Ulez scheme, which has been described by critics as ‘Sadiq Khan’s vanity cash grabbing plan’, motorists driving petrol cars which do not at least meet the Euro IV standard face having to pay the steep charge.

For diesel owners, they must have the latest Euro VI engines or hand over cash each day they cross into the soon-to-be expanded zone.

The panic caused by the decision – which affects more than 700,000 cars in Greater London – has seen the price of Ulez-friendly second-hand cars increase.

Cars which are more than 40 years old are exempted from the charge, though future classics face an uncertain future as the cost of using them in the capital is set to rocket.

Read More: Anti-Ulez protesters heckle Sadiq Khan and man ‘challenges mayor’s brother to a fight’

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