Sadiq Khan(PA MEDIA)

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is facing controversy amid allegations of “squirreling away money” after an additional £66.5 million was discovered in the City Hall budget. The funds, attributed to higher-than-expected business rates income, have sparked accusations of a “sizable election slush fund” by a Conservative Party source.

These claims suggest that Khan may have intentionally withheld funds while portraying financial strain in preparation for the upcoming Mayoral elections in May. The recent revelation of an extra £66.5 million has intensified accusations that the Mayor has been accumulating a secret financial reserve for political purposes.

A Conservative Party source raised concerns about Khan’s financial management, labeling the discovered money as “secret cash” and implying that it has been strategically set aside to bolster election campaigns. The source suggests that this alleged “sizable election slush fund” has been amassed over several years while Khan publicly claimed financial constraints, told GB News.

London Mayoral Candidate Susan Hall criticized Khan’s alleged actions, asserting that the Mayor has prioritized pre-election gimmicks over addressing the needs of the police force and victims of crime. Pledging a substantial £200 million investment in policing if elected, Hall emphasizes the need for better financial transparency and responsible budgeting.

City Hall Conservatives leader Neil Garratt expressed skepticism, characterizing the announcement of finding funds as if Khan had discovered money “down the back of the City Hall sofa.” Garratt criticized the Mayor for using reserves while simultaneously receiving government bailouts, accusing him of concealing surplus funds during times of financial distress.

Lib Dem assembly group leader Caroline Pidgeon echoed these sentiments, referring to Khan’s budget as a “sticking plaster” attempt to navigate through the upcoming election. In response to the accusations, the Mayor’s Office defended the budget allocation, stating that it is common for business rates income to surpass budgeted amounts. The spokesperson for Sadiq Khan assured the public that the Mayor’s budget aims to create a safer, fairer, and greener London, according to The Telegraph.

This includes providing free school meals for primary school children, freezing TfL fares, and investing record amounts in policing from City Hall. The accusations against Sadiq Khan raise questions about financial transparency and responsible governance in the run-up to the Mayoral elections. While the Mayor’s Office insists that the additional funds are a result of routine business rates, critics argue that the timing and manner of the fund’s discovery suggest a deliberate effort to create a financial cushion for political gains.

As Londoners await the final draft of the budget, the debate over Khan’s financial decisions intensifies, adding a layer of complexity to the upcoming electoral landscape. The controversy surrounding the alleged accumulation of a “sizable election slush fund” by Mayor Sadiq Khan has sparked debates about financial transparency and responsible governance in the lead-up to the Mayoral elections. With differing perspectives from political figures and the Mayor’s office, Londoners are left pondering the implications of this financial revelation on the electoral landscape and the future of their city.

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