Garden Bridge Trust criticises Barking MP’s ‘selective’ report

Margaret Hodge MP

Margaret Hodge MP - Credit: Archant

The charity behind the Garden Bridge has hit back at Dame Margaret Hodge after she called for the project to be scrapped.

Lord Mervyn Davies, chairman of the Garden Bridge Trust, said the Barking MP had “shown disregard for the facts and been selective in her use of evidence to support her own opinion” in her recent review.

The trust further claims Dame Margaret failed to acknowledge a survey that suggests over three quarters of Londoners back the bridge, while making “unsubstantiated claims” that philanthropists could not be found.

However the MP has since said she “did not expect the Garden Bridge Trust to support the conclusions I came to” which “are grounded in that evidence”.

She added: “Value for money for the taxpayer has not been secured, and it would be better for the taxpayer to accept the financial loss of cancelling the project than to risk the potential uncertain additional costs to the public purse if the project proceeds.”

The bridge’s future, which has risen in cost from £60million to more than £200m, now lies with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Lord Davies commented: Our message to him is that this report, with its many errors and ill-informed opinions, is no basis upon which to take decisions about a project that has been through the complex democratic processes by which decisions on development are made in this city.”