Sadiq Khan accused of 'fake boasts' about housing

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Sadiq Khan was accused of making “fake boasts” about housing today after claiming he ordered the purchase of a plot of land for affordable homes. 

City Hall had told the Standard that the decision buy the former Webbs Industrial Estate in Waltham Forest was “one of his first actions as Mayor”.

However, the £12 million order to purchase the land for new housing was in fact signed by Boris Johnson in March 2016, weeks before Mr Khan took office.

London Tories accused the Mayor of “desperation” and fabricating the truth” by attempting to claim credit for his predecessor’s decision. 

Mr Khan had admitted the land “stood derelict for seven years” but failed to mention his predecessor’s involvement in kicking off the process or his plans to build new homes on the site. 

Mayoral aides insisted the claims were justified because the deal went through under Mr Khan, after the original deadline agreed by his predecessor, and that his scheme was the only one to deliver more than 300 affordable homes on the site. 

But it is the latest of a series of examples of Mr Khan claiming credit for projects initiated by either his predecessor or the Government, including a “Pocket Living” deal for first-time buyers which was the continuation of an existing scheme and the extension of 4G on the Tube. 

The row is reminiscent of the Tories claiming the London Overground was “talked about under Ken Livingstone but delivered under Boris Johnson” when in fact the agreement for TfL to take over the route was reached more than two years before Mr Johnson was elected.

Andrew Boff, Tory housing spokesman at City Hall, said: “Sadiq Khan has spent his entire term blaming the previous Mayor for anything and everything that has gone wrong under his own leadership.

“Now he’s taking credit for and making fake boasts about a housing decision made before he even took office. This smacks of desperation.”

“The Mayor has been caught fabricating the truth to enhance his own public image.

“It is about time he was honest about the decisions being taken and what, if anything, he has actually brought to the table.”

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