A Conservative MP has encouraged the Government to consider withholding funding from Transport for London (TfL) unless plans to expand the city’s ultra-low emission zone are dropped.

Gareth Bacon, MP for Orpington, hit out at Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, calling the plan “appalling” and a “cash grab” during a question in the House of Commons.

He asked if ministers could be encouraged to withhold funds from TfL until the Labour mayor “decides to withdraw this insane plan”.

Speaking during a session of questions related to the business of the House, Mr Bacon said: “It’s something that would do nothing to improve air quality and will be economically disastrous for poorer people, both in outer London constituencies like my own of Orpington, but also in terms of people living outside Greater London.

“It’s simply a cash grab. The mayor has no mandate to do it and it’s overwhelmingly opposed by people in outer London.

“So could my right honourable friend encourage colleagues across Government to consider withholding funds from Transport for London until he decides to withdraw this insane plan?”

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt replied: “Whatever the merits or otherwise of setting up such a scheme, to do it at a time when businesses are recovering from a pandemic, and it’s not obviously just businesses in London, it’s also in surrounding areas, tradesmen and others that would be coming in for materials or to do jobs.

“I know it… has had a hugely detrimental impact on many firms and I will certainly… raise this with the Secretary of State.”

Mr Khan announced plans last year to extend London’s ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) to cover the whole of the capital from August 29 202 in an effort to boost air quality.

TfL estimates that on an average day about 160,000 cars and 42,000 vans that use London’s roads would be liable for the £12.50 Ulez fee.