Opinion: I’ll campaign against TfL bailout conditions

PUBLISHED: 08:30 30 May 2020

Unmesh Desai AM claims the TfL government bailout will punish Londoners.

Unmesh Desai AM claims the TfL government bailout will punish Londoners.


Last week, I was delighted to attend a virtual Iftar – the breaking of the fast – hosted by the Masjid Ibrahim in Plaistow.

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish a belated Eid Mubarak to all who celebrated. I hope you had a peaceful Ramadan.

I continue to keep in touch with Irons Supporting Foodbanks, who are doing a remarkable job in gathering and distributing essential supplies to those in need. Together with other Newham foodbanks and mutual aid groups, they are doing invaluable work in the borough, so please do support them if you can.

There are many pertinent and important questions surrounding how this current crisis occurred and what more could have been done to prevent it at an early stage.

Quite rightly, these issues will be carefully scrutinised long into the future. However, for now, we must all keep doing what is required to protect ourselves and each other.

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Please stay at home if you can, and if in public, follow social distancing guidelines.

Throughout the lockdown period, I have been raising residents’ concerns about enforcement of the rules with the council and police.

Understandably, there has been much local concern about high infection rates in the community, so I have written to the borough’s public health team to ask them to look urgently into why this has been the case and what lessons can be learned going forward.

The London Assembly has had its virtual annual meeting, and I will continue as the chairman of the Police & Crime Committee, as well as now being a member of the Oversight, Economy, Budget and Health committees. Through these, I will work to provide support for our community during the pandemic and its aftermath.

You will have likely seen that the government has agreed to bail out TfL, after ticket revenues – which make up 90 per cent of TfL’s income – dropped as people did what the government asked and stayed at home. A number of the bailout conditions imposed by the government are unacceptable and will needlessly punish Londoners. Rest assured, I will be campaigning against these over the coming months.

You can contact me at, and keep up to date through my social media pages. Twitter: @unmeshdesai.

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