Mayor issues 10-point plan for next Prime Minister
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today issued a 10-point plan to the two remaining Prime Ministerial candidates to address the challenges facing London and the rest of the country.
In a letter to Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, the Mayor puts forward a blueprint to reduce the impact of Brexit, tackle economic inequality and counter the growing anti-London sentiment across the country.
Sadiq wants to work with the new administration to address the challenges facing London and the rest of the country. He also encourages the next Prime Minister to make the case for why a successful and prosperous London does not mean disadvantaging elsewhere in the UK and is crucial to the success of the whole country.
In his letter, the Mayor says:
“You are seeking to lead our nation at a crucial time, when we face huge challenges which could define the future of our country for decades to come.
“We face a grave economic threat from Brexit, which is likely to damage jobs, growth, and prosperity for the next generation. We face political polarisation which is dividing our country, has led to the resurgence of the far right, and which is being used by some to divide our communities and whip up hatred.
“We are still living the painful consequences of years of cuts to public services as a result of austerity, which has disproportionately impacted the most vulnerable in society and exacerbated economic inequality. And we face a growing anti-London sentiment across the country which needs countering.
“The new Prime Minister will need to urgently heal these divisions and find a way to hold this country together.”
The Mayor’s ten-point plan to address the challenges facing London and the rest of the country:
1. Stopping Brexit. The first priority of the new Prime Minister must be to put an immediate end to the chaos and confusion of Brexit. That means revoking Article 50 and giving the British public the final say on Brexit. This is the only way to protect jobs, growth and prosperity for the next generation.
2. Keeping Londoners safe. Ensuring the police, fire and preventative services in London have the resources they need to keep us safe by reversing the years of unacceptable cuts.And in the wake of the tragedy at Grenfell Tower, the Government must ensure that existing homes, and any new homes being built are safe
3. Championing prevention and reversing local cuts.The new Prime Minister must take a proactive role in tackling violent crime through a public health approach co-ordinated at national level. And there needs to be sustained investment by central Government in our public services if London is to significantly cut levels of violent crime and to stop the continuing rise in the levels of homeless people on the capital’s streets.
4. Tackling London’s housing crisis. Despite the Mayor starting a record-breaking number of affordable homes last year, London still receives only a fraction of the housing investment needed from the Government. The Mayor wants to work with the next Prime Minister to agree new funding and powers so that London can deliver the homes the city urgently need and to make London’s private rented sector fit for purpose.
5. Investing in nationally significant infrastructure. The Mayor wants the next Prime Minister to restore Transport for London’s (TfL) operating grant, commit to fund Crossrail 2, and fund crucial nationally significant infrastructure such as the Piccadilly line upgrade and the Bakerloo line extension.
6. A better deal for long-suffering commuters. In the wake of endless delays and cancellations the rail network serving London, the benefits of transferring suburban rail services to TfL are clear. TfL’s Strategic Case for Metroisation in south and south east London, and its excellent track record in running the London Overground, offers a compelling solution that has cross-party support across London.
7. Tackling the Climate Emergency. The next Prime Minister must join the Mayor in declaring a climate emergency and providing the resources and local powers needed to tackle it. The new Government should put forward a ‘Green New Deal’ so that the UK creates jobs and delivers the changes needed to transport, buildings and other infrastructure to achieve the target of net-zero greenhouse gases by 2050.
8. Cleaning up London’s air. London’s dirty air is a public health emergency. Following the successful implementation of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) this year, the new Government must play its part in tackling toxic air pollution by introducing much-needed new clean air legislation and introducing a fully-funded vehicle scrappage scheme.
9. Driving economic growth and empowering communities across the country. The new Government has a tremendous opportunity to support the capital and other cities in recognising their contribution to economic growth. London need to be able to attract talent from overseas, so either Government must reflect this in any new immigration proposals, or allow London to decide for itself what best works for its businesses and growth. The Government should commit to devolving more powers from Westminster, including implementing the fiscal devolution proposals in the London Finance Commission report and undertake a wholesale transfer of responsibilities that are better delivered by the GLA and London local authorities.
10. Championing a diverse and inclusive modern Britain. The Mayor urges the new Prime Minister to stand up for the open, inclusive, forward-looking nation Britain has always been – and not pander to the insurgent right whipping up anger and resentment across our diverse communities.