Sadiq Khan must “get to grips” with planned police station sell offs – after his claim that sales have been “paused” was contradicted by his own deputy.

The Mayor announced in 2017 that 38 of the capital’s 73 police station front desks would close – with 29 properties to be ditched by the force.

But just three of those stations were gone by autumn last year, a Freedom of Information request by the Hackney Gazette found.

Sovereign Gate station in Richmond has been sold, and leases in Fulham and Wood Green have ended.

The Mayor said last week that “any further sales of Metropolitan Police Service estates have been paused” while the force reviews its plans after Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised 20,000 more police across the country – including almost 1,400 for London in the first round of recruitment..

He said Paddington Green station and land around Hendon Police College were the only sales that would go ahead this year.

Speaking to the London Assembly budget scrutiny committee last Tuesday, he said: “In 2021 we’ve given a projection of the number of officers we’d like to recruit, and we’ve got sufficient space for those officers.

“If the Government gives us the green light for years two and three obviously there’ll be an acceleration of the assessment of whether more estate is needed.”

The Mayor said the need for police stations in communities was “very different from in previous decades” because many people now report crime online .

This Is Local London: Waltham Forest Police Station was sold for £1 million in 2013.Waltham Forest Police Station was sold for £1 million in 2013.

But Mr Khan’s claims were contradicted just two days later by Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Sophie Linden.

Speaking at the London Assembly’s police and crime committee last Thursday, Ms Linden said police station sell offs have “not been completely frozen”.

The Deputy Mayor said several other “smaller sites” besides Paddington Green and Hendon would be sold in the next year.

She admitted the Mayor did not have information about all the buildings that might be sold in front of him earlier in the week.

And Deputy Police Commissioner Sir Stephen House told the committee on Thursday that the force has completed its review and intends to push ahead with sales.

He said: “We are not looking at stopping our buildings programme and we’re not looking at any big expansion of our property, because we now have increasing ability to let our officers work remotely, in a much more mobile way.”

He added: “Our view is that we don’t need to throw the strategy into reverse because we’re getting more officers.”

Sir Stephen said the Met will now present its findings to the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime and the Mayor and Deputy Mayor will then decide on the plans.

Liberal Democrat assembly member Caroline Pidgeon, who questioned the Mayor about police stations, said she was concerned by the contradictions.

She said: “It is time the Mayor got to grips with this issue and ensured every Londoner knew for certain what is being planned in their borough.

“In the short term there needs to be proper analysis of whether it is even possible to combine increased police numbers with a declining number of police stations.

“There is also a wider issue that closing some police stations can be a false economy, leading for example to more police time being wasted travelling between stations.”

A spokesperson for the Mayor said: “A review of the Met’s entire estate is underway in order to look at the long-term plans for the police estate, taking into account the potential impact from an increase in officer numbers.

“Some sites previously approved for disposal have been put on hold while the impact of the increase in officers is taken into account.

“While the additional officers are welcomed, this is only a very partial reversal of the huge Government cuts and there remains no clarity from ministers on how many officers will be funded after this initial uplift.

“This delay and lack of clarity is preventing the Mayor from planning effectively and making the best use of the Met’s estate.”