Labour MP wants disciplinary action against Tories who ‘support Ulez camera vandalism’


The Conservative party should take "disciplinary action" against MPs and members who encourage the vandalism of Ulez cameras, a Labour MP said on Thursday.

Dawn Butler has written to Tory party chairman Greg Hands after hundreds of cameras policing the clean air zone, which was expanded to cover all of London this week, were defaced, stolen or damaged.

It follows comments reportedly made by Sir Iain Duncan Smith.

The Daily Mail published quotes from the Chingford and Woodford Green MP where said he was "happy" for his constituents to "cement up the cameras or put plastic bags over them" because "they are facing an imposition that no-one wants and they have been lied to about it".

Sir Iain later told the Standard he “does not condone law breaking of any kind”.

Dawn Butler (PA Archive)
Dawn Butler (PA Archive)

In her letter, Ms Butler said: "At a time when the prime minister is insisting that your party is ‘tough on crime’, members of your party are supporting criminal activity and therefore undermining the work of our police is hypocritical and irresponsible.

“Is it now conservative party policy to condone criminal damage to public property?

“Will you ask that Sir Iain Duncan Smith to withdraw his comments and issue an apology, making clear he condemns criminal behaviour? Confirm what disciplinary action will be taken against Sir Iain Duncan Smith, members and activists who actively encourage lawbreaking?"

In the run up to the expansion, other senior London Tories were also accused of “condoning criminality” after it was revealed they help run social media groups that have celebrated the destruction of Ulez cameras and shared conspiracy theories about Sadiq Khan.

City Hall faces a growing wave of destruction against the cameras.

The Ulez extension to the London boundary came into force this week, with drivers of older, more polluting cars in outer London boroughs now liable for a £12.50 daily charge to use their vehicles.

TfL is battling against protesters sabotaging some of the almost 3,000 cameras needed to police the expansion.

Devices across the capital have been removed, had wires cut, been sprayed with paint and torn down by self-proclaimed “blade runners”.

Activists claim to have destroyed, defaced or stolen almost 600 cameras in the past few weeks.

A Tory party spokesman said: "It's understandable that people are angry about this unfair tax, but we do not encourage vandalism - the best way to take action is at the ballot box, by voting Sadiq Khan out of office next year."