Sadiq Khan highlights youth and opportunity as he signs in for third term

Sadiq Khan highlights youth and opportunity as he signs in for third term

Having ushered in polling day with thunderstorms, London’s weather was on its best behaviour for Sadiq Khan as he formally signed in as Mayor of London for a historic third term at Tate Modern this morning. After posing for photos on the Millennium Bridge with his wife, Saadiya Khan, the Mayor told an audience of journalists, City Hall colleagues and Labour council leaders that his victory on 2 May showed that Londoners had said “no to racism, no to division and no hate”, demonstrating that former US President Donald Trump could not have been more wrong when claiming last week that the UK capital’s door was open to extremism.

“The truth is that through the results of these elections Londoners have slammed the door shut on his brand of hard-Right populism,” Khan said. On a lighter note he said the same lesson could be drawn from Independent mayoral candidate Count Binface winning more votes that the candidate of neo-fascist party Britain First. “Our story is one written by people of all faiths, all ethnicities and all backgrounds,” he continued, saying it was the reason “London shines so bright today”.

Khan recalled the experience of his late father after arriving in London from Pakistan encountering signs in shops windows saying “no blacks, no Irish, no dogs” and yet “only one generation on, thanks to the struggles and sacrifices of so many, his son, the child of immigrants, someone of Pakistani origin, Asian heritage and Islamic faith” had twice been elected Mayor.

He described London as a place of “progress, pluralism and endless possibility” but stressed “while we’ve made great strides over the last eight years in cleaning up our air, building the low-cost housing Londoners need and making public transport more affordable, I’m acutely aware that these are challenging times for our communities” due to the current high cost of living.

Khan said government cuts to services have “shredded the safety net, made it harder to tackle crime and led to a rise in the number of people sleeping rough on our streets” but that his third term will be dedicated to providing people with “the best possible chance of success here in our city” with policies ranging from support for “baby banks” , the continuation of his primary free school meals programme,  “working with London’s major employers to create high quality jobs and apprenticeships” standing up for renters’ rights and building more council and other affordable housing “so our families can put down roots”.

Youth clubs and opportunities for young Londoners and skills training for the unemployed and low paid would also be a priority, he said, and he spoke of “the London promise” that with “hard work and a helping hand” high achievement os possible. “We will do our utmost to ensure that London becomes a byword for opportunity again,” Khan said. “A place where the barriers of class, race and gender are finally broken down and where ladders of advancement are extended upwards for all.”

He continued: “Today, I’m pledging to make London the place in the world to grow up in, working with young people to develop new and innovative policies to support them from birth to securing a job, finding an affordable home and feeling safe on our streets.”

Ongoing work on reforming the Metropolitan Police, high-quality job creation and climate action would continue, Khan pledged. Air pollution filters would be installed in primary schools and London’s bus fleet will be “100 per cent zero emission” by 20230, he promised, along with more tree-planting and the cleaning up of rivers, including the Thames.

In advance of the ceremony, City Hall issued a reminder of the ten “key priorities” for the next four years the Mayor set out during his campaign. They are:

  • Make free school meals permanent in London’s state primary schools.
  • Keep TfL fares frozen until at least 2025.
  • Never introduce a pay-per-mile road charging scheme in London.
  • End rough sleeping by 2030 with support from the government.
  • Build 40,000 new council homes by 2030 and build new “rent control” homes.
  • Put 1,300 more police on the streets, and fund more youth clubs with £30 million investment.
  • Provide record investment to tackle violence against women and girls, and deliver free legal support for victims.
  • Continue world-leading climate action with a fully zero-emission bus fleet by 2030.
  • Clean up the Thames, with a plan to make it swimmable within 10 years.
  • Provide free skills training for any unemployed or low-income Londoner and create 150,000+ new good jobs by 2028.

You can watch the watch the signing in ceremony here.

Support and its writers for just £5 a month or £50 a year and get things for your money too. Details HERE. Threads: DaveHillOnLondon. X/Twitter: On London and Dave Hill. Photo from Kieron Williams X/Twitter feed.

Categories: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *