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London Mayor facing monitoring officer investigation after Elizabeth Line announcement before elections

London mayor Sadiq Khan is under investigation by Greater London Authority (GLA) monitoring officer Emma Strain over an allegation by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps that he made an improper announcement during pre-election purdah.

Mr Khan issued a press statement on 4 May - the day before elections for London’s 32 boroughs - that said the long-delayed Elizabeth Line rail service would begin on 24 May.

In this, the mayor said: “Our world-class new Elizabeth line will be opening to passengers later this month, helping build a better London - one which is safer, fairer, greener and more prosperous city for all Londoners.”

He added the line would bring a £42bn increase to the entire UK economy and said: “I’m so proud of this new line and can’t wait for millions of passengers to start riding on the Elizabeth line from 24 May.”

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Mr Shapps said this was not a statement that should have been made the day before elections in the capital.

A GLA spokesperson said: “Having carried out an initial assessment, the GLA’s monitoring officer has confirmed that she will now investigate this complaint in accordance with GLA complaints guidance.”

A spokesperson for Mr Khan said: “The Elizabeth Line is the most significant addition to our transport network in decades, helping build a better city for all Londoners. The mayor looks forward to the outcome of the monitoring officer’s investigation.”

Mark Smulian

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