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London Mayoral Elections 2021: Who Will Lead the City Now?

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With a crucial loss for Labour in the Hartlepool by-election, for the first time since 1974 by a majority of 6,940 shows nationally the lack of faith working people have in the Labour party. Although, evident by this by-election and the previous general election it’s safe to say British people have placed their trust in the Conservative party and even with the effects of the pandemic this doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

Boris Johnson became the Prime Minister with the highest majority ever with 365 Conservative seats won; many shockingly safe Labour seats. However, with London still in the game, will Sadiq Khan be re-elected as Mayor of London in 2021? Counting has begun with it to continue on 7th and 8th May. We won’t know the results until Saturday afternoon or even Sunday morning, if the race happens to be closer than expected. 

Surprisingly, there have been more candidates than ever for this race with 20 candidates. The main contenders are Sadiq Khan for the Labour Party and Shaun Bailey for the Conservative Party. Other candidates are Luisa Porrit with the Liberal Democrats, Sian Berry with the Green Party, Mandu Reid for the Women’s Equality Party and many more. Khan’s main manifesto attraction is his pledge to help the 300,000 Londoners who lost their jobs due to the pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 lockdowns. He weighs on the status of Britain as a meritocratic society and how that gave him the opportunity to rise through the ranks. 

“I still wake up every morning passionate about delivering my promise to Londoners: to make London a fairer city where all Londoners get the opportunities that our city gave to me and my family.” Khan said. He previously won in 2016 with 56.8% of the votes compared to Conservatives Zac Goldsmith’s 43.2%. Before becoming Mayor, Khan was MP for Tooting for 11 years. He also pledges to create 170,000 green jobs if re-elected in a bid to tackle environmental issues. 

In comparison, Shaun Bailey pledges to tackle violent crime by increasing funding for policy through the introduction of a “tourist tax” levy for tourists coming into London. Whereas, Khan proposes to do something similar, by increasing police presence by 1300 police officers – but by increasing council tax by 26p per week. Bailey was previously Special Advisor to David Cameron. Bailey also pledged to revert the recent increase of 9.5% in council tax. He put forward a pledge that he would cut London’s congestion charge by 20% from £15 to £11.50. 

It’s safe to say Khan will have an eager and anxious wait over the coming hours. In the most recent poll carried out in May just before the election, it gave him a strong 12 point lead with 43% in comparison to 31% for Bailey. 

The most pressing issue for concern for Londoners has definitely been the violent crime that has emerged in the city. We are hopeful that whoever is elected will be looking to rectify risks posed on the city due to violent crime. Other issues Londoners considered highly important were housing, jobs and the economy, health and environment. 

According to the polls, it sets Khan to return as Mayor of London but here’s to waiting for the outcome in the upcoming hours. 

Will Sadiq Khan retain his seat as London Mayor?

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