Sadiq Khan accused of ‘cooking the books’ over housing figures

Potential mayoral candidate Andrew Boff yesterday accused Sadiq Khan of "cooking the books" over housing figures in an angry confrontation at mayor's question time.

Boff quizzed the mayor of London over why 494 houses were apparently counted twice in figures given over two years, to which Khan replied that some had been so badly delayed under his predecessor Boris Johnson that they had to be restarted.

Sites that Boff claimed were double counted including Royal Wharf in Newham with 241 being double counted and Millharbour Plaza in Tower Hamlets, where 253 affordable homes were allegedly counted twice.

Read more: Pro-Brexit group Leave.EU fined £70,000 for electoral law breaches

Boff said: "Under a standard definition how can it happen twice, how can you start the same thing twice?

"Don't you think youve been caught cooking the books?"

Khan replied: "Considering it's coming from somebody who's aider and abettor of the co-founder of Leave.EU – bit rich coming from you mate."

Richard Tice, the co-founder of under-fire Brexit campaign group Leave.EU that was fined £70,000 for electoral law breaches, accused Khan of counting "phantom" homes.

. @SadiqKhan currently collapsing under scrutiny from @GLAConservative about the phantom homes I found in his affordable housing figures last week. Attacking the player because hes lost the ball.

— Richard Tice (@TiceRichard) June 21, 2018

Boff accused Khan of making the issue political to detract from his "failure on housing", while Khan said he was the victim of a smear campaign by the Conservatives.

"This is a good example of why I can't wait for the election campaign to begin so Londoners can see the sort of smears these lot will throw to try and win a vote," he said.

After the session, Boff said: “The public are not getting the clear picture of how the mayor is handling the housing crisis in London.

“Deliberately fiddling with the numbers to give the perception that the mayor is doing more than he is, gives families and young people false hope that they could ever get a roof over their heads."

He added: “Not only has cooking the books exposed that the Mayor is misleading Londoners over the Housing crisis, but his double counting means he has failed to meet the target he agreed with the government of 12,500 affordable starts.”

Khan said 12,526 homes funded by City Hall had been started up last year.

Read more: Sadiq Khan ramps up affordable housing starts in race to meet yearly target

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