Boris Johnson tells TfL to revise Thames cable car contract after boycott fears

July 17, 2013
London Mayor Boris Johnson (Photo: Andrew Parsons/ i-Images)

London Mayor Boris Johnson (Photo: Andrew Parsons/ i-Images)

London Mayor Boris Johnson has intervened in a row over a controversial sponsorship deal between Transport for London and Emirates airline for the Thames cable car.

Emirates sponsors the cable car, but details of the contract show that TfL must abide by United Arab Emirates rules on having no ties to Israel or Israeli businesses.

The clause came to light this week, raising “serious concerns” according to Amir Ofek, spokesman at the Israeli embassy.

But when Mr Johnson was made aware of the stipulation he asked TfL to renegotiate the contract.

The mayor's official spokesman said: "The mayor was unaware of the clause in question, the details having been drawn up by TfL officials. When he was told about the clause yesterday he asked Sir Peter Hendy to speak to Emirates.

“Following those discussions Emirates agreed to remove the clause and re-work the wording. The mayor is pleased Emirates has moved quickly to clarify the situation."

The sponsorship deal is worth £36 million over 10 years.

Earlier in the week, Zionist Federation chairman Paul Charney had called on TfL to reconsider the agreement “before any lasting damage is done”.

TfL revealed the details of the contract following a Freedom of Information request from the MayorWatch website.

The Emirates Air Line cable car connects the Docklands area on the north bank of the Thames close to the ExCeL conference centre, with Greenwich on the south bank near the O2.

It opened in June last year ahead of the Olympics and was praised by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Last updated: 10:59am, July 17 2013