Nigel Farage has demanded Mark Harper enacts a legislative loophole to block Sadiq Khan’s “detrimental” Ultra Low Emission Zone expansion.
Ulez will soon cover the entirety of Greater London, forcing motorists on the capital’s outer boundary to cough up cash to cover the £12.50 levy.
Farage, 59, called out the Transport Secretary by highlighting how Rishi Sunak’s Government could block Ulez through the Greater London Authority Act 1999.
The Transport Secretary could opt to cite the legislation which brought devolution to the capital in a bid to overrule Khan provided the “transport strategy (or any part of it) is inconsistent with national policies relating to transport” and the “inconsistency is detrimental to any area outside Greater London”.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper
The Bill added: "Where the Secretary of State gives the Mayor a direction under subsection (1) above, the Mayor shall revise the transport strategy in accordance with the direction.”
Speaking on his show Farage, the GB News host said: “What is without doubt is Khan’s policy of Ulez extension is detrimental - that’s the word - to every county bordering Greater London, whether it's Essex, or Kent, or Surrey, or round to Bedfordshire.
“Wherever it is, it is [detrimental] because of the number of people living outside the Ulez area who’ve got their vans, who go into London to do their business, nurses who live outside of Greater London who’ve got cars who aren’t compliant.
“And remember the only people who will pay this charge are those who haven’t got the money to have new, compliant motor cars. This is a tax on the poorer end of society”.
Addressing whether Ulez is inconsistent with Government policy, Farage added: “You could argue that during Boris’ green phase that probably when Khan put this forward the Conservative Party were not that bothered about this.
“But there has been a big change in this and at the moment the Conservatives do not support this Ulez charge.
“And interestingly nor does Sir Keir Starmer because not only has he said he does not support Ulez-style zones going around other towns and cities in this country, he has also now said he is opposed to this one.”
The former Brexit Party leader stressed Khan could force a Judicial Review but highlighted the Tories benefit electorally by kicking the Ulez can further down the road.
Farage issued a direct plea to the Transport Secretary by arguing: “It is absolutely a no brainer that Mark Harper needs to liven up, roll his sleeves up and get involved in the fight but has he got the bottle? You tell me.”
Motorists in neighbouring Home Counties, including Essex and Kent, look likely to suffer when Khan introduces the expansion of Ulez on August 29.
Sadiq Khan's Ulez expansion will come into place on August 29gbnews
Harper, who previously claimed the responsibility rested with Khan, recently appeared to suggest the Mayor of London’s policy was inconsistent with the Government’s own transport strategy.
He said: “Londoners can see what this is, they don’t like it, and the Mayor of London should listen to them.”
The Prime Minister also urged Khan to “think twice” about the policy, telling drivers he was “on their side” following the Tory Party's surprising victory in Uxbridge & South Ruislip last month.
However, Farage’s comments were recently echoed by former UKIP colleague Craig Mackinlay.
Mackinlay, who defeated Farage to become the Tory MP for Thanet South in 2015, served as UKIP’s deputy leader from 1997 to 2000.
The ULEZ will expand again on August 29 PA
He told The Daily Express: “In my view, given the importance of London to the national economy and transport, the Secretary of State should exercise powers to stop the anti-motorist crusade being pushed by this failed Mayor which will hurt the poorest hardest and which additionally has economic repercussions across the South East and the wider country.”
The High Court dismissed legal challenges brought forward by Bexley, Bromley, Harrow, Hillingdon and Surrey County Council last month in a blow to anti-Ulez campaigners.
However, only one-in-seven councils bordering the capital decided to grant permission for City Hall to erect Ulez signs warning motorists about entering the clean air zone.
Former Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers also mounted an attempt to ram through a 10-minute rule bill which would hand the Transport Secretary the power to review and overturn decisions made by London’s Mayor relating to transport and air quality.
The Bill brought forward by the Chipping Barnet MP received its first reading in May and will not progress to the second reading until late November.