Sadiq Khan

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  • Jan.23.2-19: Sadiq Khan makes rent control key plank of mayor re-election bid. London mayor will work out blueprint for overhaul of laws for renters before 2020 poll. He is to work out a blueprint for an overhaul of the laws for private renters to allow new restrictions on rent to be imposed – a change he could not make without legislation by central govt. Jessica Elgot, The Guardian.
  • Jun.03.3018: Sadiq Khan faces prospect of Tory rival amid growing pressure. Sadiq Khan faces the prospect of a Conservative challenger from September at a time when there are concerns about knife crime, questions about Transport for London’s finances, and uncertainty about how far the capital’s mayor is able to address the housing crisis. Tony Travers, a professor at the London School of Economics, said: “The muddled nature of accountability for London policing, split between the mayor who sets budgets, the home secretary who provides money and decides policy, and the commissioner who handles operations, makes it hard for anybody to decide who has responsibility for crime in the capital. But it is the mayor [that] has to be elected next and it is he who will end up taking the flak.” The mayor told the Guardian he is not getting enough money from central govt for policing. Funding also looms over London’s transport budget. Khan’s popular election promise to freeze tube and bus fares, and introduce a single hopper fare for multiple bus journeys made within an hour has, according to Conservatives, blown a £640m hole in TfL’s finances. Meanwhile, bus and tube use in London is falling. Khan said TfL is “the only public transport system in the western world not supported financially by central govt” and blames Boris Johnson for agreeing with then chancellor George Osborne to remove £700m of national subsidy. On the fare pledge, he said: “I don’t apologise for freezing TfL fares. Eight years before I became mayor, TfL fares went up by 42%, we pay the highest public transport fares of any city in western Europe.” Many Londoners also want to see the housing crisis resolved. Private developers show little willingness to build large quantities of affordable homes: despite Khan’s objections, a govt-approved high-profile Sainsbury's development of 700 homes in Ilford included just 4% affordable housing. London boroughs are largely withdrawing from public-private regeneration projects after the collapse of Haringey’s controversial HDV scheme with Lend Lease. Tories such as Gareth BaconWikipedia-W.svg, leader of the party’s group on the Greater London Assembly, accuse Khan of repeatedly “finger pointing” at central govt, prefiguring the essence of what could be an 18-month-long re-election campaign once the Conservatives have selected a candidate. Khan remains the favourite to repeat his 56.8% win in May 2016 if he is reselected by the London Labour party over the next year. “I love being mayor, I want to be mayor for the foreseeable future,” he says. Dan Sabbagh.
  • Jun.03.2018: London mayor urges MPs to back peers' changes to Brexit bill. The London mayor Sadiq Khan has called on MPs from all parties to set aside their political careers and consider supporting soft Brexit Lords amendments as they return to the Commons in votes that he said were as significant as those that took Britain into the Iraq war. In common with many Labour backbenchers, Khan has previously argued that the UK should remain in the customs union and the single market, as he seeks to reflect the views of a city where 59.9% of people voted remain. But his remarks also came at a time when he faces the prospect of being challenged by Justine Greening, a Conservative MP and former minister who supported remain but has since voted in favour of the government’s version of the EU withdrawal bill. Greening has emerged as an early frontrunner for the Conservative mayoral nomination. Another former minister whose name has been mentioned, although more speculatively, was George Osborne, but senior London Conservatives question if his hostility to Theresa May would discourage party members from voting for his nomination. Dan Sabbagh, The Guardian.
  • Mar.26.2018: Sadiq Khan accuses ministers of stalling over post-Brexit environment watchdog. The mayor of London spoke out as research by the country’s leading environmental bodies suggested protections to wildlife, water and air quality are under threat because of budget cuts of more than 55% over the last 8 years. Greener UK say agencies tasked with protecting the environment: Natural England and the Environment Agency, have been cut so much that the condition of the most beautiful and rare habitats in the UK are deteriorating, the quality of water in English rivers has plummeted and nearly half of local councils are failing to properly monitor and assess levels of toxic air because of pressures on their budgets. New data reveals that the water quality of England’s rivers has fallen from 29% judged to be in good health in 2014 to just 14% in good health today. SSSIs and SPAs, the protected sites for wildlife and its habitats, are in deteriorating health – with the percentage of SSSIs in favourable condition falling from 52.8% in 2009/10 to 50.7% in 2016/17. For SPAs, the numbers in favourable health have dropped from 63% in 2009/10 to 56% in 2016/17. The govt has committed to setting up a new environment watchdog in its 25-year plan and says it will put the plan out to consultation. Greener UK said if the government was serious about introducing a world class watchdog body post-Brexit to maintain high environmental standards, it had to be adequately resourced. Sandra Laville, The Guardian.
  • Mar.23.2018: Labour condemns Tories for racially charged attack on Sadiq Khan. Labour has accused the Conservatives of adopting racially charged “dog-whistle” politics after a local election leaflet warned that the influence of Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, could mean suburbs becoming increasingly "inner city", with the union flag removed from public buildings. The flyer, produced by Conservatives in Havering, on the eastern edge of Greater London, warns that if Labour win in May’s local polls, it would result in "Havering resembling boroughs like Hackney, Newham, Camden and Barking, rather than traditional parts of Essex". Other warnings on the leaflet, which features the three local Conservative councillors and Andrew RosindellWikipedia-W.svg, the local Tory MP, include the claim that a Labour win would mean "Havering ruled by Mayor Khan". This would lead Romford to "become increasingly like an inner-city area" with “our cherished union jack flag being taken down – back to Labour’s political correctness”, it said. Zac Goldsmith, Andrew Boff, David Cameron, Nadine Dorries. Tag: Conservatives Racism Peter Walker, The Guardian.
  • Feb.13.2018: Mayor of London to spend £6m on toilets for bus drivers. The mayor of London is to spend £6m to improve access to toilets for bus drivers working in the capital. Permanent toilets will be built along 40 routes where there is limited access to facilities. Permanent toilets will be built along 40 routes where there is limited access to facilities. BBC News.
  • Feb.22.2018: A sticky one for Hancock. The culture secretary is being urged to show similar backbone to Matt Hancock and reject the Mayor of London’s choice as the capital’s representative on the Arts Council. Sadiq Khan wants it to be Ruth MackenzieWikipedia-W.svg], who ran the Cultural Olympiad, but Hancock will have his say and arty Tories are telling him that this would be cronyism. (They conveniently forget that the current person in the job, Veronica WadleyWikipedia-W.svg, was a pal of Boris Johnson.) Mackenzie was an adviser to five Labour Culture secretaries, then was given the BBC's cash-draining digital arts operation without the post being advertised. She now runs the Holland Festival, an arts jamboree in Amsterdam. While she was once said to "speak fluent New Labour", there is an item on her CV that meets modern sensibilities: her first paid role in the arts was in The Nutcracker, playing a snowflake. The Times, Patrick Kidd