London mayoral election: Sadiq Khan on LTNs, green jobs and policing

London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan

London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan - Credit: Polly Hancock

Sadiq Khan has vowed to lead a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic if re-elected as London mayor.  

Mr Khan set out his manifesto at Fairfield Playcentre in Camden Town on Tuesday (April 6), when he pledged to support more than 170,000 environmental jobs.

Mr Khan claimed his £50m Green New Deal would help ward off a recession similar to the 1980s by building skills in young people, as he called for a review into the decriminalisation of cannabis.  

Londoners head to the polls on May 6 to elect their next mayor. Labour candidate Mr Khan’s challengers include the Conservative Party's Shaun Bailey, as well as Luisa Porritt (Liberal Democrats) and Sian Berry (Green).

The London mayor of the last five years said he “fully understood” the concerns of elderly and disabled residents over low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) and road changes.   

Sadiq Khan and former Labour leader Ed Miliband

Sadiq Khan and former Labour leader Ed Miliband - Credit: Polly Hancock

“It’s important though that people understand what we can’t do is replace one health crisis, Covid, with another one, toxic air,” Mr Khan said.  

“We can’t have a situation where Londoners jump back in their cars because they feel unsure about using public transport because that will lead to our city grinding to a halt, but also gridlock across our city.  

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“So we're trying to make it as easy and safe as possible to for people to walk and cycle, and use public transport safely.”  

Mr Khan, 50, said there are “many flaws” with the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that will give officers greater powers to restrict protests.  

“One of the great things about our democracy is the human rights we have and the civil liberties that we have we shouldn't take them for granted,” he said.  

Mr Khan with children from Fairfield Playcentre

Mr Khan with children from Fairfield Playcentre - Credit: Polly Hancock

“Democracy isn’t just about voting in elections, it's also about signing petitions, it's about going on protests that should be peaceful, lawful and safe.  

“Clearly the pandemic has posed challenges but it's really important that we don't use the pandemic as an excuse to give politicians more power.” 

Highlighting girls, women and the Black community, Mr Khan called on the police to “redouble their efforts to earn back the trust and confidence of these communities”.

He was joined at the manifesto launch by shadow business secretary Ed Miliband MP, Camden leader Cllr Georgia Gould, and London Assembly candidate Cllr Anne Clarke.  

Mr Khan's future as London mayor will be decided on May 6

Mr Khan's future as London mayor will be decided on May 6 - Credit: Polly Hancock