Sadiq Khan

EU community groups get cash from London mayor

Motorist passing pro-EU campaigners in Parliament
Reuters
Grants of about £5,000 went to six community organisations

The mayor of London has handed £30,000 to community groups supporting EU citizens living in London.

Micro-grants of about £5,000 have been given to six different community organisations providing people with information on how to apply for "settled status" to remain in the UK post-Brexit.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said: "Throughout the entire Brexit process, I have been clear that London is open, and that EU citizens living in the capital belong here and are welcome.

"It’s critical that they get good quality advice and support around what Brexit means for them and how to apply for settled status, particularly those who are vulnerable."

The groups which received the cash are Latin American Women’s Rights Service (LAWRS), Work Rights Centre, New Europeans, Migrant Resource Centre, Refugees in Active and Effective Partnership and the Bulgarian Centre for Social Integration and Culture.

Lucila Granada, director at LAWRS, said: "This grant will help us reach out to Latin American women affected by Brexit and disseminate information in a way that is accessible to the most excluded, including women in domestic violence and severe poverty."

Woman on phone

Clive Coleman

Legal correspondent, BBC News

Private hire drivers commence legal action against London Mayor Sadiq Khan over congestion charge.

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Mayor fails to say whether bus drivers will be compensated

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The mayor of London has failed to answer whether bus drivers incorrectly paid below the London Living Wage will be compensated.

In 2017 it was discovered some bus companies contracted out by Transport for London (TfL) were not paying some of their trainee drivers the London Living Wage, despite being contractually obliged to do so since 2009.

Since November 2018 Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, has been asking Mayor Sadiq Khan whether these drivers will be compensated for being underpaid.

Now Ms Pidgeon has written a letter to Mr Khan imploring him to make sure trainee drivers who were unfairly paid below the London Living Wage are compensated saying it "cannot be brushed under the carpet".

"It is vital that these contacts are properly enforced and that bus drivers who have been paid less than the London Living Wage are now compensated,” she said.

But Mr Khan has still failed to answer if these drivers will be compensated.

Responding to a question about whether bus drivers paid below the amount between 2009 and 2017, a spokesperson for Mr Khan said: “As TfL has confirmed, everyone who provides bus travel in London is paid at least the London Living Wage.

“When TfL found out that some trainees were being paid less than the London Living Wage they put a stop to it, and TfL continue to ask operators to confirm in writing that they are complying each year when the hourly rate is revised.”

The spokesperson also said from April 2019 bus drivers, once qualified, would receive a minimum wage of £24,711 – up from £799 the previous year.

In the letter, Ms Pidgeon also called on Mr Khan to answer why TfL is not willing to retrospectively enforce these contracts.

She also said it was “vital” that TfL are instructed to address their failure to enforce their contracts with bus companies over this eight-year period.

She estimated as many as 20,000 drivers were underpaid during that time.

Mr Khan has acknowledged he has received the letter but is yet to send an official response.

Sadiq Khan 'desperately sad' about Labour split

Sadiq Khan
Getty Images

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said he is "desperately sad" about the Labour split, but has confirmed he will stand for re-election as a party candidate in 2020.

Seven MPs resigned from the Labour Party on Monday morning, amid tensions over Brexit and allegations of anti-Semitism.

In a statement on Facebook following the announcement, Mr Khan said: "This is a desperately sad day. These seven MPs are all friends of mine. I served alongside them in Parliament.

"I'm proud to serve as Labour's Mayor of London and will stand as Labour's candidate at the next mayoral election."