Mayor's Oral Report

MQT on 2016-07-20
Session date: 
July 20, 2016
Question By: 
Tony Arbour
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Tony Arbour AM (Chairman):  Mr Mayor, you will now provide an oral update of up to five minutes in length on matters occurring since the publication of your report.


Answer for Mayor's Oral Report

Answer for Mayor's Oral Report

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Thank you Chairman Arbour.  Can I offer my own sympathies to the people of Nice, especially to the families and friends of those who have been killed or injured.  London stands united with Nice and all of France.


Chairman, I want to touch on four matters briefly if I may.  Last week, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) brought in an emergency timetable with 350 services cancelled a day, leaving commuters crammed on trains or stranded on replacement buses.  The decision follows months of delays and cancellations to services and, quite frankly, this is an embarrassment to our city.


I have therefore written to the new Secretary of State, Chris Grayling MP [The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport], offering to urgently put a top Transport for London (TfL) team in charge of the failing GTR Southern franchise.  This team would run Southern Rail until the Government is able to resolve the longer term problems that have led to widespread disruption for thousands of commuters.  I have also urged the Department for Transport (DfT) to work with me on putting in place a speedier timetable for the transfer of suburban rail services to TfL in order to improve the efficiency of London’s rail network.  This is not a party political matter.  Tens of thousands of commuters are suffering and I hope all Assembly Members will be supportive of my call to arms.


I have also called on employers to close the pay gap for women.  I have published a full gender pay audit of all City Hall staff and I will be launching an action plan to ensure full pay equality across the Greater London Authority (GLA).  I have also asked the functional bodies to publish a full gender pay audit.  As a proud feminist in City Hall, I am determined to make the GLA a model employer that removes any barriers to women by adopting the highest possible standards for fair pay, good working conditions and gender equality.  I have already appointed more women to a series of top positions in my team than any previous Mayor.  We need to increase female representation at the most senior levels.


Thirdly, on 14 July 2016 I hosted a devolution summit of political and business leaders from across London as I begin forging a new cross‑party consensus on further devolution to London.  Conservative and Labour Members of Parliament (MPs) and council leaders, the Liberal Democrat Assembly Member as well as business representatives attended.  This was with the aim of reaching a broad agreement on a more ambitious approach for further devolution to London government in the aftermath of the European Union (EU) referendum.  Both City Hall and the boroughs need more control over taxes raised in the capital and how public services are run.  We cannot protect Londoners from the economic fallout of leaving the EU without more autonomy for London government.  This is essential to protect London’s jobs, wealth and prosperity in the years ahead.


Finally, Chairman, on Monday I launched a major campaign to show that London is united and open for business and to the world following the EU referendum.  #LondonIsOpen will show the world that London remains entrepreneurial, international and full of creativity and possibility while reassuring the more than 1 million foreign nationals who live in London that they will always be welcome and discrimination will not be tolerated.  I am urging all Londoners, organisations and businesses to show their support for the #LondonIsOpen message via social media.  We need to make sure that people across London and the globe know that London is open.