The Scoop

The promises Boris Johnson claims to have delivered but hasn't

Adam Bienkov | Thursday 15 March, 2012 08:44

Lots of coverage yesterday for Boris Johnson’s claim that he has “delivered 91% of his manifesto promises.”

The BBC, Evening Standard, and even The Guardian all printed the claim without bothering to check whether it was true.

The Guardian quotes Boris describing his Progress Report as “brutally honest.”

However, as I said on LBC last night, just a cursory glance through the document shows that many of the promises he claims to have delivered, he simply hasn’t.

Here’s a few that immediately jumped out at me:

“I will Chair the Metropolitan Police Authority” – Promise delivered.

Boris chaired the authority for a year before resigning. It has since been abolished. Promise most definitely not delivered.

“Create a Cabinet for London” – Promise Delivered.

You what? Even the document itself admits that he didn’t create a Cabinet for London, and yet it still claims that he’s delivered his promise. This must be some new definition of “delivered” we’re yet to be aware of.

“Stand for only two terms” – Promise Delivered.

Eh? He hasn’t even finished his first term yet and just last month he refused to rule out standing for a third term, telling the Evening Standard that he “regrets” ever promising such a thing.

Now it’s fair to say that hasn’t broken this promise yet, but he can hardly claim to have “delivered” something four years before it’s even possible to do so.

“I will focus on fare evasion” – Promise delivered

Whether or not he’s ‘focused’ on it is a matter for debate, but the amount of fare evasion has increased or stayed the same on all modes of public transport since 2008, apart from the Tube which has shown a slight reduction.

Overall revenue loss also increased from £53.5m to £63.2m by 2010. Now to be fair, overall ridership has also risen over this period.

But even if you take that into account, the ‘rate’ of fare evasion has stayed exactly the same as it was four years ago at 2.2% according to Boris’s report.

“I will stop the proposed Tube ticket office closures in outer London” – Promise delivered

Lots of ticket offices have already had their opening hours dramatically reduced and London Underground have drawn up plans to close all but 30 ticket offices altogether.

At Mayor’s Questions yesterday Boris even went so far as to accuse opponents of ticket office closures of being “luddites”. Promise not delivered.

Many of the other ‘delivered’ promises involve trials of things such as orbital buses and live CCTV both of which he has since rejected.

Even the handful of things he admits to not having delivered, like his promise to run the tube later at weekends, are blamed on “exorbitant demands made by trade union bosses” rather than the obvious impracticalities.

I could go on but maybe you should take a look yourself.

Let me know if you spot any other porkies.

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