Tuesday, 27 May 2008


See below for the text of the press release issued by Boris Johnson’s office on Sunday.

It is probably a sign of things to come – press releases sneaked out on Bank Holidays and attacks on the poor and vulnerable.

It is even more despicable as it tries to dress it up as “better ways of benefiting Venezuelans”

The hypocrisy of it all is breathtaking.

Press Release
Mayor brings controversial Venezuela deal to an end

25-5-2008 267

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson today announced that the energy funding agreement between London and Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, which was instituted under the last mayoral administration, will not be renewed when it concludes on August 20th this year.

The office set up in Caracas to oversee the deal will be closed, saving an estimated £67,000 per year in running and staff costs, with work to shut down the operation having already begun.

The Mayor has made clear that Transport for London will honour the half price bus and tram fares scheme for Londoners on Income Support, accepting applications in the usual way until the agreement comes to an end in August, and recognising the discount beyond this date until the six month time periods on people’s cards have run out.
Under the agreement, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London provided advice and technical expertise in areas of city management, such as public transport and planning, in exchange for a financial contribution calculated towards the fuel used by London's bus fleet.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said:
“I think many Londoners felt uncomfortable about the bus operation of one of the world’s financial powerhouses being funded by the people of a country where many people live in extreme poverty. I simply think there are better ways of benefiting Londoners and better ways of benefiting Venezuelans.

“We will continue to offer the half-priced travel concession to Londoners on income Support for the duration for which the deal was originally planned, and will continue to improve the capital’s transport system and ensure that it is accessible and able to meet the needs of all those who rely on it.”

Notes to Editors
Further information is available from Matt Brown a the Mayor's Press Office on 020 7983 4716. Number not for publication.
For out of hours media enquiries please call 020 7983 4000.
For non-media enquiries please call the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.

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