Readers may recall that the Ministry of Justice has had some unfortunate press coverage over its taxi bill. The Express last year claimed that ‘more than £4.3m was spent on cabs to ferry around inmates and staff’.
No need though for a similar story to run in 2014: the MoJ now has a ‘national taxi strategy’ whose imminence officials boasted of last summer.
Perhaps newly on-boarded justice minister, Simon Hughes MP, can help. For years Hughes has owned and driven a succession of bright yellow London taxis. A decision to be ‘for hire’ on what is, after all, official business could allow Hughes to make a saving for the MoJ. Former Hughes staffers worried about health and safety issues will be relieved to know that his current cab looks pretty new, and that occupants are no longer required to hold the door shut by pulling on a piece of string whenever the minister turns left.
And it is a clear bonus that, as MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, Hughes is unlikely to refuse a fare ‘sarf’ of the river.