Emirates remove controversial clause from TfL contract
The airline Emirates has removed a clause prohibiting Transport for London (TfL) from striking deals with Israel and criticising the Emerati government or royal family. The news was uncovered following a Freedom of Information request.
Speaking to Huffington Post UK, a spokesperson for the airline said: “The clause in the Emirates contract with TfL was put in place to protect the commercial interests of the Emirates brand.”
“The clause was not intended to discriminate against any particular person, religion, or country,” the spokesperson added, continuing: “Given the misinterpretation of this clause Emirates have agreed with TfL to remove it from the contract. Emirates, a global, multicultural, multimedia company, does not discriminate against passengers of any race, people, or religion.”
The contract prohibits Boris Johnson or TfL from making “any statement in connection with the subject matter of this contract that is disparaging or defamatory” of the Emirates, the government of Dubai, the government of the United Arab Emirates and the royal family.
TfL were also unable to commit to commercial deals with any member of a “country with which the United Arab Emirates does not at the date of this Contract or at any relevant point during the Term maintain diplomatic relations”.
Israel remains the only nation falling under the outlined definition.
Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson told the Huffington Post UK the mayor was “unaware of the clause in question”. Having learned of the news, London’s mayor instructed TfL boss Sir Peter Hendy to immediately renegotiate the contract.
Meanwhile, the former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, told Huffington Post UK he would never have agreed to such a clause: “The only people likely to fund this were a medieval dictatorship that wanted some kind of status from it. I just think, [we should have] let the Emirates walk away.”
“Boris just doesn’t do detail. He was very busy writing a book about the history of London at the time,” he added.
The Emirates airline provided £36 million to the £63 million cost of the cable car which connects North Greenwich with the ExCel centre.