Mayor Sadiq Khan warns that Tulip Siddiq faces a tough battle to hold her Hampstead and Kilburn seat
- Credit: Archant
Labour London mayor Sadiq Khan visited Hampstead on Saturday and warned that his ‘good friend’ Tulip Siddiq faced a tough fight to hold her seat in the key marginal.
Addressing a rally of around 100 Camden and Brent Labour activists and councillors in what he dubbed “the people’s republic of Hampstead and Kilburn” the mayor said: “I am here to support my good friend who has been your brilliant MP Tulip Siddiq”.
But he warned: “it’s going to be a tough fight. The next four or five weeks are going to be really really tough..June 8 is so,so important.
His visit comes in the wake of local election results which saw Labour suffer losses at the polls on Thursday which the mayor later admitted were “disappointing.”
But he reminded the crowd how in the 2015 elections “people said it would not have been possible for Labour to win” but that the hard work of the Labour campaigners meant that Tulip was elected.
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He said: “There are two words we must never say and that is ‘if only’”.
The mayor urged campaigners to keep working hard for an MP to “stand up for the community” and to “stop Theresa May having an extreme, hard Brexit.”
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Mr Khan also spoke of air pollution and crime, saying: “We need an MP by my side making sure we address the blight of bad quality air killing too many Londoners....and to make sure we restore neighbourhood policing and end the blight of knife crime.”
When shown this week’s Ham&High front page about the epidemic rise in moped mugging in the area he defended his record on tackling violent crime pointing to an increase in the number of neighbourhood police.
But when questioned about how police patrolling a nieghbourhood on foot would stop thieves on high-powered mopeds, Mr Khan highlighted a number of other initiatives.
“We are doing a number of things,” he said. “One is working with the manufacturers of mopeds to increase security. Secondly making sure we are doing a much better job on prevention in relation to working with young people with more school liaison officers. And neighbourhood police are important because they restore confidence.”
When asked about the increase in fatal stabbings in Brent, Mr Khan pointed to last week’s launch of phase 8 of Tridents Operation Sceptre to tackle knife crime with more officers on the streets doing weapons sweeps.
“What we need is more resources to do more of this,” he said and blamed Theresa May as home secretary for making cuts to policing budgets.
“We are taking violent crime seriously,” he insisted, “particularly snatch crime. Watch this space in relation to operations over the next few days and weeks to address this issue. Anyone who has spoken to a victim of this crime knows how stressful it is.”
When later questioned about the controversial CS11 cycle superhighway which he previously announced was due to start work in Autumn, Mr Khan could not confirm a time for the scheme to go ahead: “We have taken time to consult properly. I am keen to get it right,” he said.