Sadiq Khan is still committed to expanding the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) but is happy to look at new ideas for ways to mitigate the financial impact on Londoners, Sky News understands.

The London mayor is understood to be willing to consider measures as long as they do not reduce the policy’s effectiveness at improving air quality.

Mr Khan’s plans to expand ULEZ to encompass the outer boroughs of London from 29 August have been blamed for Labour failing to take Boris Johnson’s old seat.

The change means drivers across the capital will face a £12.50 daily charge unless their car meets stringent emissions rules.

A source close to the Labour mayor said: “Sadiq has been clear he is listening to Londoners following this by-election.”

London's Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) is to be expanded in August

Critics argue the scheme disproportionately affects poorer people who need to drive for work and discourages sole traders from outside London taking work inside the city.

Mr Khan’s team defended his ULEZ plan, saying only one out of 10 cars driving in outer London would face the charge, with a £110m scrappage scheme to help lower earners upgrade their vehicles.

Read more:
London ULEZ: Where the expanded Greater London zone will cover, why Sadiq Khan created it and why it is unpopular with some

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‘ULEZ is why we lost in Uxbridge’

Party leaders urged to keep green promises

Both Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer have been urged not to drop their parties’ green policies after the Tories narrowly held on to Uxbridge and South Ruislip by 495 votes.

After Uxbridge became the party’s sole victory in a set of three by-elections on Thursday the prime minister has come under renewed pressure to dilute pledges designed to help the UK meet its pledge of having a net zero carbon economy by 2050.

Meanwhile Labour leader Sir Keir has vowed to stick with his green pledges, but said his party would need to reflect and “learn the lesson” over how they are implemented.

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Gove calls for relaxation of net zero measures

It comes as Housing Secretary Michael Gove warned against “treating the cause of the environment as a religious crusade” and called for a relaxation of some net zero measures.

Mr Gove, who was environment secretary when the 2050 net zero pledge was made under Theresa May’s premiership, called for “thoughtful environmentalism”.

He also said he did not know whether the ban on new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 was “perfectly calibrated” but said it was “achievable”.

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