Three unusable water cannon purchased by Boris Johnson when he was mayor of London have been offered for scrap, at a internet lack of greater than £300,000.

Johnson purchased the crowd-control autos from the German police in 2014, in anticipation of social unrest, with out checking whether or not they could possibly be used on London’s streets. In certainly one of his most humiliating episodes as mayor the then residence secretary Theresa Could banned them from use anyplace in England and Wales. It left the capital’s taxpayers with three costly white elephants.

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The present mayor, Sadiq Khan, pledged to claw again as a lot cash as doable on the redundant autos by promoting them. However after virtually two years the mayor’s workplace admitted defeat in its try and discover a respected purchaser.

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It introduced on Monday that it has agreed to promote the autos for simply £11,025 to Reclamations Ollerton, a scrap steel yard in Newark, Nottinghamshire.

The payment recoups 3.4% of the £322,834.71 spent on the autos since 2014.

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The 25-year-old autos price £85,022 in 2014, however they have been discovered to be riddled with faults and required costly modification to make them roadworthy. This included £32,000 to adjust to the town’s low emission zone, and virtually £1,000 on new stereos.

The former London mayor Boris Johnson

The previous London mayor Boris Johnson purchased the crowd-control autos with out checking whether or not they could possibly be used on the capital’s streets. {Photograph}: Victoria Jones/PA

Officers had hoped to promote the autos for as much as £43,000, however regardless of the advance work, no purchaser could possibly be discovered.

Underneath circumstances of the unique sale by the German federal police, the autos may solely be offered on to a European policing or civil safety organisation, as a guard in opposition to them being utilized by a repressive regime.

The Ministry of Defence has been making an attempt to assist offload the autos since December 2016 however no European authority needed them. The mayor’s workplace stated: “The size of time they took to promote was because of lack in curiosity from potential consumers, together with the UK authorities and abroad authorities.”

The failure represents a setback for Khan, who had promised to promote the autos in his election manifesto and spend the cash on youth companies. The cash he has recouped doesn’t even cowl the estimated £12,000 invoice for insuring the autos [pdf] since he was elected in Could 2016.

However he nonetheless claimed that by promoting the autos for £3,675 every for scrap he had met his election pledge.

Khan stated: “For too lengthy, London taxpayers have needed to bear the brunt of Boris Johnson’s appalling botched water cannon deal. This has been one other waste of taxpayers’ cash by Boris Johnson. Londoners proceed to dwell along with his self-importance.

“I’m happy we have now managed to lastly eliminate them and I made an election promise to Londoners that I’d claw again as a lot of this money as doable, and pump it into serving to younger folks vulnerable to being affected by crime and giving them higher life alternatives.”

The Inexperienced social gathering joint chief and London meeting member Siân Berry stated extra money would have been saved if the autos had been scrapped sooner.

She stated: “That is the ultimate proof that Boris’s water cannon stunt was simply cash down the drain. It’s an affront to Londoners that any public cash was spent on what is basically a weapon in opposition to the folks. It’s a disgrace extra of the cash couldn’t be recouped and spent on younger Londoners, however I’m glad that nobody shall be utilizing the water cannons in opposition to any folks because it was rightly deemed inhumane.”


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