Labour mayoral candidate visits Haringey and vows to stop ‘social cleansing’
PUBLISHED: 17:43 17 September 2015 | UPDATED: 18:05 17 September 2015
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Labour’s newly elected mayoral candidate was on the campaign trail in Haringey today.
Sadiq Khan was drumming up support for Labour candidate Charles Wright in a council by-election in Woodside.
The Tooting MP won the Labour mayoral candidacy decisively last week, beating off competition from original frontrunner Tessa Jowell, and is now preparing for a long electoral battle of his own, with Zac Goldsmith the bookies’ favourite to become the Tory candidate.
He said that if elected mayor next May, he will stop the “social cleansing” of boroughs such as Camden and Haringey through his proposals for genuinely affordable homes and a London living wage of £10 per hour.
Mr Khan, the son of a bus driver who became a human rights lawyer said: “There are too many Londoners in Haringey and Camden who do not have the chance to fulfil their potential in the way that I did. We have become a tale of two cities, and Haringey and Camden illustrate the challenges to our city.”
He said he would like to see more powers devolved to the Greater London Authority (GLA), but criticised Boris Johnson for not having made the most the most of his tenure as mayor.
He said: “Boris’s legacy will be giving the impression that mayors can’t do much. I’ve studied mayors around the world, like Bill de Blasio, the Mayor of New York, and mayors can do a huge amount.”
He said that if elected, he would like his eventual legacy to be giving affordable homes to rent and buy back to Londoners, and said the current situation of homes being sold off to wealthy foreigners is “tragic”.
He called the current definition of “affordable” rent as 80 per cent market value “a con” and vowed that he would do what he could to stop the sale of housing association homes under the government’s “right to buy” proposals.
“The key thing for the next mayoral election is which candidate is going to fix the housing crisis and build genuinely affordable homes to rent and to buy?”
He said he would like to see some control of the NHS devolved to London in order to address the post code lottery of health inequality.
“If you’re born in one part of Haringey you will live for seven or eight years longer than if you’re born in the other part.”
The former Transport Secretary said he foresees no problem working with Labour’s new leader Jeremy Corbyn, and has no regrets about having nominated him for leadership.
He said: “The best mayors are independent minded, so I have got to decide for myself what is in the best interests of Londoners. I don’t want to be Jeremy’s representative to London, I want to be London’s representative to Jeremy.
“There will be times when we agree. Jeremy is passionate about social homes for London, inequality and eliminating social cleansing. There will be times when we disagree. I am passionately pro-business, I believe I would be the most pro-business mayor London has ever had, and I am passionately pro-European.”
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