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Getting away with it: the Mayor of London

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The curious case of the missing Carrie story

Does Sadiq Khan get a free run from the press?

There’s a feeling about town, especially within business, that he does.

I ran the idea by a hack, a flak and a CEO yesterday. They all said the same thing: newspapers are asleep at the wheel with this guy, what are you going to do about it?.

Next month, he extends his ultra-low emission zone out to the north and south circular roads. It means anyone whose vehicle is deemed to be polluting will have to pay £12.50 daily to drive around inside the zone.

A freedom of information inquiry by The Sunday Times earlier this year revealed that 337,000 households and businesses will be affected by the move – a stunning number of people who suddenly face a big increase in the cost of motoring or who, more likely, will be forced to take their vehicle off the road.

By any standards this is quite a big news story, yet you will struggle to find much coverage of it in the national press (apart from that ST story) or on national television, mainly because both are paranoid about being accused of being London-centric.

This has happened a few times with Khan. He has, by general consensus, been an average Mayor of London, as borne out by the local election results, during which both Labour and Conservative campaigners were stunned at how close he was run by the lacklustre Shaun Bailey.

Yet his ho-hum administration of London, which has overseen soaring knife crime and failed to meet the even fairly modest housing targets he set himself, gets nowhere near the scrutiny it deserves from national newspapers and broadcasters.

Maybe Khan has excellent flaks. Maybe those affected businesses should hire them and fight back…

Press release of the day

Which banks are the biggest sinners in terms of fines?

Some research here from BrokerChooser tells us Bank of America is top with £60bn of penalties since 2000.

I would have guessed that Barclays was well up there, but it doesn’t make the top 10.

The worst UK bank for fines is NatWest, RBS as was.

“Toxic securities abuses” are the most common offence.

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