Key election battleground issues outlined
Picture: Garry Knight
London mayoral candidates have welcomed the New Year with messages to voters ahead of this year’s election.
Candidates reflected on crime, climate change, and the city’s European values – all set to be key policy battlegrounds for the May vote.
The current Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, welcomed 2020 on Twitter with a reminder that the capital is “proud to be a global, European city”.
Mr Khan, who is running for a second term at City Hall, is a vocal opponent of Brexit, and has campaigned for an open and inclusive city.
The Mayor also promised today to introduce a new travel pass to help disabled Londoners if he is re-elected in May.
Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey reflected on violence in the capital ahead of the New Year.
In 2019 there were more homicides in London than any year in over a decade.
Mr Bailey called for a “tough and tender” approach to serious crime that gives “hope and opportunities” to young people.
In a video on Twitter, he said: “Behind every murder there are real people, real lives and real stories.”
He added: “The young people I’m speaking to now are talking about knife crime as a social mobility issue.
“They say they’re concentrating more on their safety than they are on their future. That’s got to stop.”
Liberal Democrat candidate Siobhan Benita also welcomed the New Year on Twitter, sporting a pro-EU mug in her video message.
She said it was “disappointing that we ended 2019 with the election results that we had”.
Britain elected a Conservative government on 13 December, with Boris Johnson’s party winning 365 seats – a majority of 80.
Labour has 203 MPs, and the Liberal Democrats won in 11 constituencies.
Ms Benita called on “liberals, progressives, and people at the centre of our politics” to work on “keeping us close to our European neighbours, tackling the climate crisis, and really looking at the reasons for the inequality that we still have in our society” in 2020.
Green candidate Sian Berry said the New Year was “a chance to act for the climate and elect long overdue Green Mayors for our cities”.
Independent Rory Stewart has not shared a message for 2020.
The London mayoral election will take place on 7 May this year, at the same time as the election for the London Assembly, which scrutinises the mayor.
The deadline to register to vote in person is 21 April, with postal and proxy vote registration closing shortly after.
Jessie Matthewson - Local Democracy Reporter
January 3, 2020