Shaun Bailey - not so hopeful
Not surprisingly, this is proving to be a campaign destined to develop not necessarily to his advantage, especially after he echoed the dishonest Tory claim that TfL was “effectively bankrupt”. Now he wants that same TfL to find the odd hundred million or so to help out one of his fellow Tories outside London, by paying for some new railway infrastructure.
As any fule kno, railway infrastructure is not cheap. But Bailey was not downhearted, putting together a video where he told “I’ve just been hosted by Dean Russell, who’s the MP for Watford. He and his constituents are very worried about the closure of Watford station … When Boris Johnson was the Mayor, he left the money behind to make sure this station, and the extension, actually happened, so that Watford and London would be closely linked, as lots of people commute”. And there was more.
“But under Sadiq Khan’s poor management of TfL’s finances, this station is now under threat. It’s just another example of how Sadiq Khan has failed to deliver transport across London and the wider region … I have a plan to fix transport in London and stations like this will be rescued wherever possible. But I want to make a challenge to Sadiq Khan. It’s time to stop blaming the Government and deliver transport”. Ready for the fisk?
Here we go. One, there are at present no plans to close Watford station (the Metropolitan Line terminus). Two, the extension - to Watford Junction - would almost certainly mean that station WILL close. Three, Watford and London are already connected by a more direct and faster link between Watford Junction and Euston. Four, Khan’s management of TfL’s finances has little to do with any threat to that station. COS IT’S NOT IN LONDON.
And Five, the money Bozo left assumed the project to link the Met to Watford Junction - with a short stretch of new track and re-using the disused Croxley Green link - was way short of what will be needed. Hertfordshire County Council have declined to make up the shortfall. Because, like all councils, they too are strapped for cash (hello again Tories).
All of which makes Bailey’s trip to Watford a singularly pointless one. Parts of the London Underground - especially the Metropolitan - extend outside the Greater London area. That means it’s not for the Mayor to throw money at them. If he did, the Tories would be down on him like the proverbial tonne of bricks. That’s why Bailey is such an embarrassment.
And that’s why many Tories are already writing off his chance of winning next year. You don’t impress voters by prioritising someone else’s problems. And then lying about them.
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