Labour and Conservative politicians clashed over the recent increase to Tube fares and the congestion charge, with both sides blaming each other for the changes.

Cllr Graham Henson, leader of Harrow Council, said it was “deeply unfair” of the Government to insist Transport for London (TfL) accept these new measures as part of a bailout package.

The Government agreed to release £1.6 billion worth of emergency funding to support London’s transport network provided some conditions were met by the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan.

These include increasing bus and Tube fares by one per cent above inflation, as well as raising the congestion charge from £11.50 to £15 and widening its scope from 7am to 10pm seven days a week.

Cllr Henson said Mr Khan ultimately had no choice but to accept these terms and that those who rely on regularly travelling into London will pay the price.

He said: “Rather than working to find a sensible funding arrangement, the Tories have chosen to balance TfL’s books on the backs of hardworking Londoners.

“This is shameful behaviour and a kick in the teeth for the residents of Harrow who will now face higher fares and charges for their daily commute simply because the Tory Government is intent on playing political games.”

However, Shaun Bailey, the Conservative candidate for the Mayor of London, said Mr Khan had no one but himself to blame for forcing the Government’s hand.

He said the incumbent mayor had driven TfL’s finances into the ground leaving it completely vulnerable once the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

And he believes these increased charges will harm London’s economy as people are forced to pay extra to carry out their business.

He said: “Countless Harrow residents will drive to work this week and they’ll be hit with the mayor’s new congestion charge.

“Londoners can power Britain’s economic recovery. But only if they’ve got the right support.

“Half of London’s economic activity takes places in central London or within one square mile of it. We shouldn’t make life more difficult for the people who work there.

“Between the government bailout and increased fares, TfL has more than enough money to operate as normal. The same can’t be said for many of our small businesses.”

He added that he vows to reverse the congestion charge increase if he is elected mayor.

Mr Khan repeated his criticism of the deal he was offered and said it was being “imposed” on the public by the Government.

He said the only reason TfL was facing financial difficulties was due to a loss of income – a problem, he noted, faced by “every other transport operator in the country”.

In a statement to Parliament last month, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps acknowledged the loss of revenue brought about by the Covid-19 outbreak was the “most important” reason for TfL’s issues.

However, he said decisions made over the last four years – with Mr Khan as Mayor of London – had resulted in the “pre-existing poor condition of TfL’s financial position”.