The chief executive of the Garden Bridge Trust says Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has "given assurance" that he would be prepared to back a guarantee to meet any shortfall in fundraising for the maintenance of the controversial footbridge.
Writing in the trust's winter newsletter, Bee Emmott says: "The Mayor has given assurance that he has no objection to providing the required maintenance guarantee once he is satisfied with our operational fundraising plans."
Last week Mr Khan reiterated his oft-stated but seemingly contradictory position that he won't sign the guarantee unless he is convinced that it won't be called on.
The Mayor's stance was branded "illogical and irreconcilable" by Liberal Democrat assembly member Caroline Pidgeon.
Under the terms of planning permission for the bridge, the trust must demonstrate that it has a guarantor for the estimated £3.5 million a year maintenance costs if fundraising efforts fall short.
The newsletter claims that the trust intends to start construction of the bridge during 2017.