The Sunday Times undercover operation has allegedly exposed corrupt conduct of Tim Yeo , Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee. In a meeting which was filmed he was asked if he could help a fictitious Solar Company and he bragged ‘I’ve got a very close relationship with all the key players in the UK Government’ and said ‘I think I could help define how to influence the policy process here, at a national level and on a local level...’
Extract from the Sunday Times
These statements are shocking, but what is more shocking is that he has not just said that he could potentially do these things to the undercover reporter, he has allegedly been doing this for years and getting away with it.
In 2007 Tim Yeo was appointed as Chairman of Eco-City Vehicles, a role for which he has been received substantial reward of tens of thousands of pounds and shares in the company.
It is also alleged that while he was Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, and he used his position to ‘influence the policy process’ and used his ‘close relationship with the key players in Government’ to benefit his own company Eco-City Vehicles.
In 2009 at the Tory party conference, Yeo suggested an Age Limit for London Taxis, saying that in order to reduce pollution older vehicles should be scrapped.
In 2010 Boris Johnson (obviously one of the ‘key players’ Yeo refers to ) proposed an Age Limit for London Taxis in his proposed Air Quality Strategy to reduce pollution in London.
The Department of Transport had previously advised Transport for London against imposing an Taxi Age Limit on the basis of emissions because ‘the older taxis are not necessarily more polluting than the newer taxis’.
Many London Assembly Members and MPs asked the Mayor on many occasions to conduct testing to prove that the older taxis were more polluting and he flatly refused to conduct even the most basic testing.
Public Law requires that the Mayors decisions are evidence based.
An improper and unlawful consultation for the Taxi Age Limit was carried out which involved the CEO of Eco-City Vehicles. A similar Age Limit Consultation in Newport in Wales was ruled to be unlawful by a High Court Judge.
The London Taxi Age Limit was implemented by Boris Johnson in January 2012, needlessly scrapping several thousand London Taxis and forcing operators and drivers to buy Tim Yeo’s new Mercedes Vito Taxis.
When LTPH Director John Mason was asked about the shortage of vehicles last year he said "There are plenty of new Mercedes Vitos to buy or lease."
The improper and unlawful involvement of Eco City Vehicles in the Taxi Age Limit Consultation was exposed in September 2012 and Tim Yeo immediately resigned his position as Chairman, although absolutely no disciplinary action was taken against him.
London MP Andy Slaughter challenged Boris Johnson about the improper consultation and in a letter the Mayor replied that Eco-City Vehicles had no involvement whatsoever in the taxi age limit consultation.
This is proven to be factually incorrect by the TFL minutes of the consultation meetings, which show Eco City Vehicles CEO Peter Da Costa attending the meetings and persuading others to impose an age limit.
Boris Johnson claims to have had no contact with Tim Yeo, even though Tim Yeo now claims to have a close relationship with all the key players.
In 2012 the Environmental Research Group at Kings College London was commissioned by the City of London Corporation and Ealing Council to conduct proper emissions testing on vehicles in London, and the emissions of more than 10,000 taxis were measured using a new roadside technology.
In May 2013 Defra published the report from this testing which showed that the older taxis were no more polluting than the newer taxis , and in fact that the brand new Mercedes Vito taxis (that drivers had been forced to buy at £43k from Yeo’s company) were actually creating MORE NO2 than the older taxis.
However, the result is that there has been absolutely no reduction in pollution in London in 10 years. The Mayors own research has shown that 4267 people a year are dying from pollution and absolutely nothing g has been done to change that.
There should be an immediate and urgent Public Inquiry into the corrupt practices which have directly resulted in thousands of deaths from pollution.