Wednesday 17 July 2019 / 12:35 PM Jon Trickett

Everywhere he goes, Boris Johnson leaves a trail of disaster – Jon Trickett

Jon Trickett MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, commenting on the news that Boris Johnson ‘ignored expert advice’ on various projects costing taxpayers over £1bn, said:

“Everywhere he goes, Boris Johnson leaves a trail of disaster in his wake. Ignoring the advice of officials while wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on vanity projects is symptomatic of a man who sees politics as a game. His failures as mayor show that he can’t be trusted to run the country.”


Notes to Editors:

Garden Bridge

  • Boris Johnson’s proposal for a Garden Bridge across the River Thames costed £43m of taxpayer’s money without a single brick ever being laid.

BBC News, 13 February 2019,

Boris Island

  • Boris Johnson supported the building of a £100bn new airport in the Thames estuary – dubbed ‘Boris Island’.  Johnson continued to call for the idea even after the Airports Commission had rejected the plans that would have caused significant environmental problems. Transport for London set aside £5.2m on a feasibility schemefor an airport in the Thames estuary.

City Hall correspondence, 4 September 2014,

FT, 1 September 2014,

New Routemaster buses

  • Sadiq Khan scrapped Boris’s New Routemasters after issues with costs, ventilation and pollution.

“They are the most expensive buses in the world, with extra millions spent replacing the ludicrous windows that don’t open…Their batteries are too expensive to replace and their diesel engines cause too much pollution.”

Evening Standard, 2 January 2017,

Boris Johnson wasted millions of pounds of taxpayers money on failed projects

Water Cannons

  • Boris Johnson bought three unusable water cannons when he was Mayor which later were sold for scrap, at a net loss of more than £300,000. The cost of buying and refurbishing the vehicles was £322,834.71. In 2018, they were sold to Nottinghamshire based firm for £11,025.

BBC News, 19 November 2018,

  • A review by accountant Moore Stephens found that decisions taken by Boris Johnson to convert the Olympic Stadium in Stratford cost taxpayers almost £300m, while the stadium operator has been saddled with annual losses of about £20m.
    • The £323m cost of the conversion – a £133m overrun of the original £190m estimate – was almost entirely paid with public money.

The Guardian, 1 December 2017,

Moore Stephens Olympic Stadium Review, November 2017,

Boris Johnsons’ broken promises

Ticket offices

  • In 2008, Boris campaigned heavily against plans to close a number of ticket offices on the London Underground, signing a pledge to never close them. His 2008 manifesto committed to there being “a manned ticket office in every station.” In 2013, as Mayor, Johnson closed them all.

Buzzfeed, 21 November 2013,


  • In 2009, Boris Johnson pledged to end rough sleeping in the London. However by the end of premiership in 2016, homelessness in the capital had doubled.

The Independent, 1 January 2016,

Transport fares

  • Boris Johnson campaigned against Londoners paying “the highest [transport] fares in Europe” but oversaw an average increase in fares of 4.2 per cent.

The Independent, 27 June 2016,

Congestion charge

  • Johnson pledged not to allow the congestion charge to go above £8.00 – it rose to £11.50 on his watch.

ITN deabte, 17 April 2008

The Guardian, 28 May 2014,

Special constables

  • Boris Johnson promised to double the number of special constables to 10,000, but there were only 3,271 when he left City Hall.

Fighting Crime in London, 2012,

Misled public on robbery figures

  • Boris Johnson’s campaign website was accused of ‘misleading’ the public on crime figures.

BBC News, 22 March 2012,