Sadiq Khan pledges new 'drugs commission' if re-elected
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Sadiq Khan is the Labour candidate for Mayor of London once again as he goes up against new Tory frontman Shaun Bailey in a bid for the City Hall seat. The May 6 election is just weeks away at this point, and right now it appears very much in Mr Khan’s favour as he looks to secure the mayoral seat for another term. Mr Khan and Mr Bailey are candidates for the country’s two biggest parties, but running against them is the Green Party’s Sian Berry and Liberal Democrat candidate Luisa Porritt. Housing is one issue which has proved divisive in recent weeks as both Mr Khan and Mr Bailey have laid out their stance on the matter.
Mr Khan has laid forth a high profile housing policy as he is calling for rent controls to be brought into London – a power currently held by central Government.
The Labour mayor says if he wins the election, there will be a mandate for Government to give him powers to cap rent prices.
This initiative will be done through a City Hall “private rental commission”.
Mr Khan has also set a target of building 10,000 new council houses as part of his wider target to build 122,000 affordable new homes for Londoners between 2016 and 2023.
Tory candidate Shaun Baily has pledged to create a City Hall-owned property developer – Housing for London (HfL) – if he bags a win next month.
Mr Bailey said the new developer would “streamline housebuilding in London and tackle the housing crisis head on by bringing together policymakers, with industry and borough leaders”.
While both pledges seem reasonable and in the interest of Londoners’ future, it’s clear Mr Khan’s has won the hearts of Londoners for now.
A recent poll has put Mr Khan in a clear lead for the London mayor win with less than one month to go until voting day.
The poll, carried out by YouGov for the Mile End Institute as part of Queen Mary University, puts Mr Khan at 47 percent of the vote, with Mr Bailey lagging behind at 26 percent.
Green Party candidate Ms Berry is even further behind with nine percent, while Lib Dem Ms Porritt trails back at seven percent.
Although just a snapshot of what Londoners are thinking right now, it’s worth noting Mr Khan’s position in the lead hasn’t wavered since the last YouGov survey was carried out in November 2020.
Unless he picks up support fast, Mr Bailey’s polling puts him likely to suffer the worst defeat of any Conservative candidate since the mayoralty was established more than 20 years ago.
Mr Bailey is also behind 28 points to Mr Khan’s 45 within the outer London ‘donut’ that gave Prime Minister Boris Johnson his mayoral victory in 2008 and 2012.
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Adding to that, Mr Khan dominates the support among London’s BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) community with support at 63 percent compared to Mr Bailey’s 15.
Director of the Mile End Institute, Patrick Diamond said: “Attention will inevitably shift to Mr Khan’s agenda and policy priorities.
“Londoners want to see greater investment in the NHS, housing and policing.
“To build a more ‘liveable’ London after Covid, they would like more affordable housing and improved air quality through Traffic Free Neighbourhoods.
“Voters also want concerted action to tackle anti-social behaviour on the city’s streets.”
The YouGov research revealed the top three concerns for public investment in London:
- National Health Service (NHS – backed by 63 percent)
- Housing (backed by 58 percent)
- Policing (backed by 42 percent).
In the prospect of rebuilding London as a more ‘liveable’ city, the top priorities according to YouGov research remain the same:
- More affordable housing (56 percent of Londoners support this)
- Tacking Anti-Social behaviour (43 percent support this)
- Improving air quality (supported by 30 percent of Londoners)
- Building more homes for social rent (backed by 24 percent in the city)
If you haven’t yet registered to vote in the May 6 mayoral elections in London, you can do so here.
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