"that’s what I’m here for and what I’m fighting against."
A British Army veteran has begun a hunger strike to protest against Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion.
Prabhdeep Singh will not eat, and drink only water, for seven days in protest at the London mayor’s £12.50-a-day clean-air tax, which is set to expand across the capital.
The 40-year-old will spend the week in a tent outside Uxbridge Tube station.
Mr Singh served in the Royal Army Dental Corp. He now works as a driver for a private car hire firm.
He now faces a daily £12.50 charge to transport passengers to and from Heathrow Airport.
Mr Singh has said ULEZ would be “another burden” on those fighting against poverty during the cost-of-living crisis.
He said: “Whilst we’re fighting against poverty from the cost of living crisis, there’s another burden on the people called ULEZ.
“It’s being imposed on us, so that’s what I’m here for and what I’m fighting against.
“The result of the by-election here has given the clear indication to the mayor that this is not something we want.”
Mr Singh admitted his hunger strike was unlikely to halt the ULEZ expansion but denied it was a stunt.
He continued: “ULEZ is an extra burden on people when they are already battling against the cost of living crisis and food poverty.
“We don’t need it either, particularly in this area. That’s why I am fighting against it – stop the expansion!
“I will starve myself for seven days and that’s long enough to get my message across and the attention of people.
“It is not a stunt. The mayor needs to listen to people, not dictate. It’s on the mayor to rethink expansion.”
Sadiq Khan plans to expand the ULEZ to all London boroughs on August 29, 2023, despite growing pressure to delay the scheme.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was one of several Labour MPs calling on Mr Khan to reconsider after the party failed to win the recent Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election.
Mr Khan said it was in the interest of tradespeople to scrap their old vans, increasing the amount of cash available in his scrappage scheme to £150 million.
He argued that ULEZ would mean tradespeople are “less likely” to develop health conditions such as asthma and they would have to take less time off work “being unwell because of air pollution”.
Mr Singh said the by-election was a “clear indication” that ULEZ is something do not want.
On August 5, 2023, thousands of motorists gathered in Trafalgar Square in central London to protest against ULEZ.
Mr Khan has previously told LBC:
“I am unwilling to delay, water down or step back from these really important measures that are going to save lives and protect lungs.”