London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s public relations budget breaks the £1million-a-year barrier – up 50 per cent since he first took office
- Mayor of London spent the eye-watering sum on managing his image in last year
- It means Mr Khan’s press office costs spiked by 50 per cent since he took office
- Leader of the Greater London Authority Conservatives slammed it as ‘shameful’
- Susan Hall said it ‘showed Khan put self-promotion before Londoners’ priorities’
Sadiq Khan’s public relations budget has soared to more than £1million-a-year for the first time, new figures reveal.
The Mayor of London spent the eye-watering sum on managing his image from 2020 to 2021.
It means his press office costs have officially spiked by 50 per cent since he took on the role in 2016.
The leader of the Greater London Authority Conservatives slammed the figures as ‘frankly shameful’.
Susan Hall said the staggering amount ‘showed he put self-promotion before Londoners’ priorities’.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance added that those in the capital would be ‘maddened’ by the spending during the pandemic.
It comes just months after he was criticised for demanding more money from the Government after receiving billions in bailouts only last year.
The Mayor of London spent the eye-watering sum on managing his image from 2020 to 2021
Mr Khan splashed out £1,097,285 on public relations in 2020/21 compared to £732,537 in 2015/16, City Hall figures show.
The Mayor’s overall office costs also increased dramatically from £3.8million in 2015/16 to £6million in 2020/21 – up 60 per cent.
GLA Conservatives’ Leader Ms Hall said the ‘ever-rising PR bill’ for Mr Khan’s press team and office showed he put self-promotion before Londoners’ priorities.
Ms Hall said Londoners would be ‘amazed’ the Mayor found yet more money for his press team while ‘pleading poverty’.
She said: ‘It’s frankly shameful that Sadiq Khan has splashed so much money on his press team while pleading poverty when it comes to Londoners’ priorities.
‘Londoners will be amazed that the Mayor could increase his PR bill to more than £1 million considering how often he complains he is broke.
‘The irony won’t be lost on people that Khan is wasting cash on an extortionate press team to complain how broke he is.
‘Khan constantly claims that he can’t afford to invest in housing, policing and transport in London despite his £19.4 billion budget.
‘But there is never a cash shortage when it comes to his ever-rising PR and office bill.
‘I hope the Mayor will keep his press office costs under control during his second term. But, I doubt it.’
It means his press office costs have officially spiked by 50 per cent since he took on the role in 2016. Mr Khan is pictured with his wife Saadiya Ahmed last month
Joe Ventre, digital campaign manager of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told MailOnline: ‘Londoners will be maddened by the mayor’s spiralling PR spend.
‘While taxpayers in the capital faced down the pandemic and a series of torrid rate rises, City Hall loosened the purse strings for publicity.
‘It’s high time for Khan to clamp down on these surging spin costs, prioritise frontline services, and deliver hard-pressed households some much-needed savings.’
Earlier this year Mr Khan was criticised for demanding more money from the Government after receiving billions in bailouts only last year.
The Mayor of London had lobbied Rishi Sunak to turn on the spending taps in the March Budget – and produced his own wish-list for the Chancellor.
He was seeking another financial package for Transport for London and a cash injection to revive the capital’s hard-hit nighttime economy.
An extension to the business rates holiday and for furlough to continue until lockdown was eased were also on his list of proposals.
His demands were quickly shot down by the then Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey, who accused him of pouring millions into City Hall’s PR machine.
Last month Mr Khan vowed to ‘build bridges’ with Boris Johnson’s government after winning a second term as Mayor.
The Labour incumbent is serving a truncated three-year term after winning the election that was postponed from last year due to the pandemic.
But he was pushed all the way by Mr Bailey, who had been given little hope of getting anywhere close to him.