London's economic development

MQT on 2019-03-21
Session date: 
March 21, 2019
Question By: 
Tony Devenish
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


What are you proactively doing to attract big firms, like Amazon, to London to indicate that London is open for business?


London's economic development

London's economic development

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  As Mayor, I have been promoting London to ensure we continue to be the most competitive, attractive and innovative city in the world for business.  Despite opposition from the GLA Conservatives Group, I continue to fund London & Partners (L&P) to promote London to business leaders and investors around the world and spread the ‘London is Open’ message.


In relation to Amazon, last year I met with Amazon’s Senior Vice President Jay Carney and UK Country Manager Doug Gurr for a positive discussion about Amazon’s future plans in London.  In 2017 Amazon opened a new headquarters (HQ) in Shoreditch and has expanded to over 5,000 staff here in London.  I was pleased that Jay Carney and Doug Gurr highlighted the business commitments they have to London during our meeting.  These are the kinds of conversations I regularly hold.


I have also had meetings with the likes of Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Apple – that is Tim Cook, not Tim Apple - Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, and senior leaders from other big businesses from Google to Goldman Sachs.  In the face of opposition from the Conservatives on the Assembly, we have also supported L&P to open new overseas offices in six key cities to ensure London attracts further investment.  I am proud that since I have been Mayor, Google has announced it is opening a new building in King’s Cross, housing 4,500 staff.  I was pleased to perform the ground‑breaking ceremony for this last year [2018].  Apple will open a new London HQ in Battersea.  Facebook is leasing three new offices in King’s Cross.


I am determined, Chairman, to ensure that the prosperity of our city is shared so that all Londoners can feel the benefits.  This means making sure that big businesses in London are also good corporate citizens and they play by the rules and protect workers’ rights.


Tony Devenish AM:  Thank you, Mr Mayor.  We have seen again the hard left, who opposed Amazon killing 25,000 jobs in New York.  How will you stop this poison spreading across London under Jeremy Corbyn [Leader of the Labour Party]?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  What a remarkable question.


Tony Arbour AM (Chairman):  I cannot help.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Here we have a west London Assembly Member asking the Mayor of London in City Hall to give a running commentary on what is happening across the pond in relation to jobs in New York.


Tony Arbour AM (Chairman):  I am sorry, you are out of time.  We are not going to be able to hear you deal with that mystery problem.