Zac Goldsmith: "I bought a 'Zombie killer' knife on Amazon"
PUBLISHED: 09:54 09 February 2016 | UPDATED: 10:07 09 February 2016
© Adam Tiernan Thomas
Zac Goldsmith MP pledged to crackdown on knife crime and toughen up rules on the sale of blades if he wins the London Mayoral race after revealing he bought a "Zombie Killer" knife online.
The Conservative MP for Richmond and North Kingston, who hopes to replace Boris Johnson as Mayor of London after the May election, visited Wembley on Saturday and told the Times how “shockingly easy” it was for his team to order and purchase the 10.25 inch blade.
The deadly weapon was bought on Amazon and delivered 24 hours later.
Mr Goldsmith, 41, said: “It’s just shocking how there were no questions asked, we just ordered it and it turned up the next day without even asking for proof of age or verification- and these knives are only meant to do one thing.”
Outlining how he would tackle knife crime in Brent, which has seen a sharp rise in violent stabbings including the deaths of Haile Langa and Che Labastide-Wellington last November, he said: “Every death is a tragedy, and in Brent you’ve had more than your fair share.
“Crime has come down in London in the past few years under Boris but there has been a spike in knife crime in particular and we need to deal with that and tackle the supply of knives by working with retailers like Amazon and eBay.
“We won’t solve knife crime overnight, but the first point of any plan should be to take as many knives off the streets as possible. That’s why I back the sensitive use of stop and search.”
Knife crime against the under-25s surged by 22 per cent across London last year according to the office for national statistics (ONS).
Mr Goldsmith also spoke of his desire to “guard” funding for frontline policing and “ensure police have the right resources” as well as guaranteeing to keep numbers of PCSOs and neighbourhood policing teams “where they are”.
In a wide-ranging interview during a walkabout with campaigners including Cllr Joel Davidson, the Conservative councillor for Brondesbury Park, the Mayoral hopeful and multi-millionaire set out his plan to tackle the lack of affordable housing in Brent.
“The bottom line is we need to double the number of houses being built to 50,000 a year and to do that we need a deal with Government to open up public land to the control of the Mayor.”
Responding to claims that wealthy foreign investors are pricing Brent residents out of buying in their own borough, Mr Goldsmith said: “You can’t turn off the taps to foreign investment” but he did propose a compulsory “first dibs” policy on housing built on private land, meaning developers would have to offer properties to UK buyers first and leave a “significant period of time” before marketing them abroad.
Whilst shying away from concrete targets on housing, the MP also spoke of ensuring a “meaningful supply” of affordable housing and helping more people get on to the housing ladder through the help-to-buy scheme and other government initiatives.
Asked if he was able to represent the voters of the Brent community, he said: “The issues that are raised every day in my constituency of Richmond and North Kingston such as housing, policing and transport are exactly the same as the issues facing every borough in London including Brent.
“People can see that London has boomed and prospered but they don’t feel that had translated into their own lives.”
Londoners go the polls to elect the Mayor of London and members of the Greater London Assembly on May 5.