The Conservative candidate for Mayor of London has admitted she does not know how much a bus fare costs.
Susan Hall also confessed to not knowing how much an entry level Metropolitan police officer is paid and got confused about who owns Hammersmith Bridge.
During an LBC phone-in on Monday she was asked about how she would manage Transport for London, if she win the mayoral election in May.
But asked how much a bus fare in the capital is Ms Hall replied that she “doesn’t know” adding: “I don’t use them. I use trains all the time”.
Pay-as-you-go adult rates on buses give travellers unlimited journeys within one hour for £1:75 .
Sadiq Khan announced a freeze in most bus and Tube fares last week.
He said pay-as-you-go fares – which account for about 80 per cent of Tube journeys and 74 per cent of bus journeys – would remain unchanged until March next year.
Asked whether she would undo the fare freeze, Ms Hall said: “I don’t know.
“Let’s wait and see what the finances are… Sadiq Khan has been screaming that he hasn’t got enough money for the last seven years… I suspect it would stay in place.
“I wonder where the money has come from. Don’t forget, he has spent seven years saying he’s got no money. He’s been underfunded. And yet suddenly he’s got money to do a fare freeze. Oh, guess why? There’s an election coming.
“He’ll find other monies for all sorts of other things. And it’s because there’s an election coming.
“But in the last seven years, he’s been depriving various vital services from money – and I would suggest definitely the police – in order that he can have a bumper year now just before an election and buy the votes, quite frankly.”
Questioned about how much a Met Police Constable earns she said: “I think they start at, I think they start about 30 something, and it goes up from there…. I don’t know what that one is now… I probably should know what nurses earn and teachers earn.”
Ms Hall also floundered when asked what she would do about Hammersmith Bridge, which has been closed to motorists and buses for almost five years amid a £250million bill to make it safe.
She claimed the crossing was owned by “two councils, it’s not very clear”.
The bridge is owned by Hammersmith and Fulham council who have asked central Government to honour a pledge to fund its repair.
Ms Hall added: “At the end of the day the Mayor is in charge of London and if things aren’t working they have to step in….I will not promise anything unless I know where the money is coming from.”
Labour’s Mr Khan’s has a huge lead in opinion polls. Two polls last November put him on 50 per cent, compared with about 25 per cent for Ms Hall.
But Labour insiders have expressed concerns this could result in complacency among voters.
It has adopted a three-pronged strategy to secure him an historic third term, the Standard has been told: getting the core Labour vote out, convincing Green and Lib-Dem voters to “lend their vote”, and discouraging Londoners from voting Conservative.
THE RUNNERS AND RIDERS
Thirteen candidates have already declared an interest in running, and more are expected to throw their hats into the ring in the coming weeks
SADIQ KHAN (Labour) Seeking a historic third term. Announced that his free school meal programme will continue for another year if re-elected. Tight-lipped on the rest of his pledges. Says focus is on making London “safer, more prosperous, affordable and fairer”.
SUSAN HALL (Conservative) Campaigned hard against the expansion to the Ultra Low Emission Zone last year. Vows to scrap the expansion “on day one”, saying it has “been devastating for people”. She also plans to invest £200 million of additional funding into the police and to set up specialist units to tackle burglaries and thefts.
ZOE GARBETT (Green) Pledges to de-prioritise policing of cannabis and to make public transport more affordable including free bus travel for under-22s.
ROB BLACKIE (Lib Dem) Says he will “get the police to focus on serious crimes and earn the respect of Londoners”. Believes the Met is wasting time on low level drug offences like laughing gas and should be free to investigate rapes and sexual offences.
HOWARD COX (Reform UK) Founder of the FairFuelUK campaign. Would scrap the entire Ulez and “extensively increase policing visibility 24/7 to cut crime”. He would increase affordable housing, particularly for low-income families”.
NATALIE CAMPBELL(Independent) Promises to take a CEO’s approach to deliver recovery and growth. Head of bottled water company Belu and chancellor of the University of Westminster, she was originally longlisted to be the Conservative candidate.
GEORGE GALLOWAY (Workers Party of Britain) Previously stood for the Respect Party in 2016. Advocates “decent, cheap housing for all” and “an end to imperialist wars”.
AMY GALLAGHER (Social Democratic Party) Will “push back on woke ideology” and vows to “depoliticise the police” and make transport free for under-25s.
SHYAM BATRA (Independent) Property and finance broker who wants to “give people a voice”. Promises to abolish Ulez, the congestion zone and 20mph limits.
TARUN GHULATI (Independent) Wants to re-open police stations in areas with high crime and to tackle inequality.
RAYHAN HAQUE (Independent) Proposes car-free Sundays in central London once a month and making capital “AI-ready”.
ANDREAS MICHLI ( Independent) Gym owner proposes free gym memberships for Londoners and to train police officers up to blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
COUNT BINFACE (Count Binface Party) In 2021’s contest, he promised to rename London Bridge “after Phoebe Waller” and for no shop to sell croissants for more than £1.