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Rival Labour And Tory London Mayoral Candidates Tell George Osborne To Protect The Tube From Cuts

Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith and Labour MP Gareth Thomas – both prospective mayoral candidates – are urging the chancellor to protect investment for Transport for London.

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Two prospective London mayor candidates from rival parties are working together to "send a message to George Osborne to leave London alone", BuzzFeed News has learned.

Zac Goldsmith, Conservative MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, and Gareth Thomas, Labour MP for Harrow West, both of whom are running campaigns to win the nomination as their party's candidate in the London mayoral election, plan to launch an early day motion before the Budget on Wednesday.

Many expect that the chancellor will announce cuts to the Department for Transport, which could lead to a reduced grant to Transport for London, the network that runs London's transport system.

The motion will praise the results of government spending on Transport for London but will also urge the chancellor to "protect vital investment" in the transport network in order to update existing infrastructure and "commit to new projects such as Crossrail 2".

Thomas said Goldsmith approached him about launching the motion in an open invite to MPs in London and he agreed.

He told BuzzFeed News that the motion "is about sending a cross-party message to Osborne not to hit investment in the tube.

"The big worry is that Transport for London will get hammered by Osborne partly because of his interest in the 'Northern Powerhouse' and also because of his desire to protect a whole series of other departments' spending, one of which isn't the Department for Transport."

He added that those signing would be "sending a united message from London MPs to George Osborne to leave London alone".

The full motion can be read here:

That this House notes the transformation of London's transport system in recent years since the creation of Transport for London (TfL); acknowledges that increases in Tube and bus reliability and customer satisfaction are due to sustained government investment, a sensible fares policy and effective management; recognises that the transport network is carrying 30 million journeys per day, more than ever before; records that London's population is expected to grow by 1.6 million to reach 10 million people by 2030; welcomes the findings of the OECD which reports that the transport of people, goods and services makes cities work and that it is cities that drive national productivity; further notes that 4,000 apprenticeships and over 60,000 jobs outside London are supported by TfL's investment programme; and urges the government to protect vital investment for TfL, allowing it to modernise ageing assets on the road, Tube and rail networks, maximise capacity, commit to new projects such as Crossrail 2 and further improve rail services in London and the south east.

Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at siraj.datoo@buzzfeed.com.

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