icola Sturgeon is more popular than ever, and support for Scottish independence is surging. Andy Burnham has become a northern hero, and the Conservative grip on the seats in the red wall that won the election for Boris Johnson is in doubt. Now London is the next part of the UK where the government’s response to coronavirus is threatening Tory prospects at the next election.
London is mostly a Labour city, but even so, 21 of its 73 MPs are Conservatives, and most of them are furious with Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, who seems to be fighting a losing battle with the mayor, Sadiq Khan.
The cause of the dispute is the disastrous state of the finances of Transport for London (TfL), the authority that runs public transport in the capital. The collapse of fare revenue as a result of people working from home and avoiding social mixing has left TfL bankrupt, which meant Khan was granted a bailout of £1.6bn. He has now asked for another, and he and Shapps have been locked in negotiations over terms.