Sadiq Khan has hit back at claims Londoners have rejected plans to expand the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and stressed the public consultation was “not a referendum”.

City Hall Conservatives have called for an investigation into the consultation process and for the plans to be scrapped following a report in The Telegraph which revealed as many as 60 per cent of respondents were opposed to plans to expand the ULEZ to cover the whole of Greater London.

But speaking on LBC radio on Thursday, the Mayor of London said the consultation is “not a numbers game”.

Mr Khan said: “This is not a referendum, it’s a consultation. But I’ll be taking on board the substantive points people have been making in relation to how we can address some of the issues, concerns, people may have, because it’s really important that everyone in London gets the benefit of clean air, not just those in inner London and central London who currently benefit from the ULEZ.

“It’s not a numbers game. It’s not counting up how many people are for, how many people are against. It’s not a referendum – that’s what weak leaders do. It’s a consultation. We’ll be taking on board the substantive points people are making and seeing if they can be ameliorated, seeing if they can be addressed.”

Last month, the Local Democracy Reporting Service reported that a motorists’ lobby group had been accused of using “dirty tricks” in order to “manipulate the outcome” of TfL’s public consultation.

Labour MP for Lewisham East Janet Daby said she had been made aware of a “nationwide campaign” by drivers’ group FairFuel UK which involved 5,000 of its members using a template to submit negative responses to TfL’s consultation.

The Mayor of London has said he is aware of the campaign and that consultation responses, including their origin, will be detailed in the final report.

Speaking on LBC on Thursday, Sadiq Khan said the final consultation report would be published in “late October or early November”.