Sadiq khan

Wes Streeting should be ashamed of his white supremacist Tory jibe

Over the past few years Wes Streeting has established himself as one of the more open-minded and reasonable members of the shadow cabinet. Rather than nodding along with his party’s traditional worship of the NHS, and utilising the usual, false campaigning tool of trying to claim that the Tories have some secret plan to privatise the health service, he has been frank about its weaknesses. A tweet put out by Streeting yesterday afternoon, however, points in a rather different direction: blatant opportunism. He wrote: ‘A win for Susan Hall and the Conservatives is a win for racists, white supremacists and Islamophobes the world over. Susan Hall’s campaign has been fought

Tennis is sexy again

For 50 years, I’ve avoided wearing anything resembling formal tennis kit but in a rather lame way, I’ve been seduced by the current tenniscore fashion movement. Although tennis is my only sport, I’ve never owned whites, but a rather fabulous white – actually ecru – tennis ‘skort’ has arrived in the post. I only just prevented myself from adding a V-neck white sweater with navy trim to the order. Now I’ve just got to get on the court for the first time this year and stop with the shopping. Sadly, there is absolutely no resemblance at all between how I look in this hybrid of shorts and skirt to the

Sadiq Khan’s Ulez has spectacularly backfired

What was that about Sadiq Khan’s expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) supposedly helping to reduce our dependence on cars and clean up the air? As well as the stick of charges of non-compliant vehicles, Khan has rolled out a very large carrot: £121 million of funds to help motorists ‘transition to greener alternatives’. That includes £49 million worth of scrappage grants for cars, at £2,000 a time, and £72 million worth of scrappage payments for vans and minibuses. According to City Hall in a press release last October, the whole package has resulted in 80,000 fewer motorists driving around London. So London’s streets are presumably now much less

Could Sadiq Khan lose London?

With Labour 20 points ahead in the national polls, a lot of Tories have already written off next month’s mayoral contest in the capital. London, they maintain, is a Labour city that occasionally votes Conservative. But supporters of Sadiq Khan and his Tory challenger Susan Hall agree: it’s going to be closer than many think. The mayor’s image is as likely to be found on Conservativeleaflets as on Labour ones Three factors are held by both camps to be at play. The first is the incumbency factor versus ‘time for a change’. Khan’s re-election team has consulted other campaigns which won three in a row; all agreed this was the

‘Weaponising Jewish people is wrong’: Sadiq Khan on anti-Semitism, Ulez and the upcoming electoral battle

For most of this year it was widely accepted that the Tories had given up on London. Sadiq Khan seemed unbeatable and the party’s hunt for a mayoral candidate to run against him became a farce as various ‘big names’ refused to run. Then Daniel Korski, the frontrunner for the candidacy, had to drop out over a #MeToo row and it fell to Susan Hall to lead the charge. And yet, despite the political drama, the Tories are within touching distance of victory at City Hall – just a couple of points behind Labour in the polls. London looks winnable. ‘Nobody likes to be unpopular, but you’ve got to have

London e-bike blight

The past few weeks have been spent in the enclosed rehearsal spaces of the Ambassadors Theatre in London’s West End, preparing and finally opening in Private Lives. Shut off from the world as I am, we could have become a colony of North Korea for all I know. And yet some things do penetrate – who could fail to be horrified and appalled by the twin disasters in North Africa recently? These two devastating events have resulted in the deaths of an ever-rising number of tens of thousands of people. And yet they already seem to have dropped off our news coverage. Has the enormity of the 2004 Indian Ocean

Concrete, marmite and jam: the fight against Ulez 

‘We’re renegades now. We’re outlaws. Bandits.’ This was my assessment as the builder boyfriend pulled up outside the house in his old truck with a load of wood hanging off the back. White van man and dirty great pick-up truck man, in the case of the BB, have found a way around paying the Ulez. Mostly, they present their customer with the £12.50 a day charge, which is what they have been doing since the Ulez first started in more central areas of London. Now it has been expanded to all London boroughs, including where a lot of these chaps live and have their work yards, they have had a

Ulez expansion has gone ahead in defiance of evidence

London’s Ulez scheme has been expanded. A new network of cameras filming the traffic movements of millions of Londoners is now switched on. Old cars and vans, often used by sole traders, will be charged £12.50 a day if they pull out of their driveways. Keir Starmer had asked the London Mayor Sadiq Khan to ‘reflect’ on the policy after Labour lost the Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election. Khan duly did, and concluded that he would stick to plan A. With 4,000 Londoners dying of air pollution every year, he said he had no option. But if that figure is correct, why has air pollution been mentioned in only one

How builders plan to get round the Ulez charge

‘What a worry the Ulez must be for you both,’ said a friend with a nod to the pick-up truck parked outside our house. It was kind of him to wonder. The builder boyfriend drives an old Mitsubishi L200 to work in London every day and like almost every other working man he cannot afford to buy a new vehicle that is Ulez compliant so you would presume he has to pay the charge. But that’s not quite how it’s turning out. There is no Ulez problem for any Khan supporter who can find an old granny to put in his old car once a week If I might speak

Hell is the Ulez hotline

‘Only boring people get bored’ is what we were all told as children. What we were not warned about was that boring things can also make you boring. Boringness is infectious. Or so I have come to believe. Due to the backlash against the extension of Ulez, the Mayor has come up with a fresh brilliant idea Thanks to my own low tolerance for boring things, I didn’t race to find out about the Ulez scheme. These soul-destroying acronyms often arrive at the peripheries of my vision, where I hope they will remain. Yet they make their remorseless push forward. So this week, with boring inevitability, I had to call

Ulez and the limit of Sadiq Khan’s power

That the Conservatives retained the west London seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip, albeit by a whisker, has been put down to a single issue: the London Mayor’s plan to extend the ultra low emissions zone to the outer boroughs, to take effect at the end of next month. A legal challenge is currently in the works, with a ruling expected soon.  The Mayor’s argument is that improving air quality for Londoners is a priority, and he was out there repeating his point with his usual verve within hours of Labour’s failure to win Thursday’s by-election.  Whichever way the court rules, however, the extension of the Ulez is surely as

Sadiq Khan’s free school meals plan is fatally flawed

Sadiq Khan said told Radio 4 listeners this morning that, while he was grateful for the free school meals he received as a child at his primary school in Tooting, he felt stigmatised by having to queue up and eat separately from children whose parents were paying for their meals. If that is what his school was really doing then it is a pretty horrible way to treat children – and create class divisions where they don’t need to exist. Sorting out payments for school lunches can, of course be handled away from children’s noses, so none of them know who is eating for free. But does Khan’s childhood embarrassment really

Sadiq Khan’s strange stabbing statement

What an odd thing Sadiq Khan said following this morning’s stabbings in central London. Shortly before 10 a.m., three people were attacked by a man on a bike in Bishopsgate. The criminal is still at large, according to the Telegraph. This horrifying incident was no surprise to Londoners, so you would think that the Mayor would – from experience – strike the right chord. Instead, Khan had this to say: The good news is, it’s not a terror attack. And another piece of good news is the three victims of the stabbing are not in life-threatening situations, thank God. But it’s just a reminder of the dangers of carrying a knife… Where was

Fact check: Is Sadiq Khan right about fires?

Will global warming condemn Britain to more fires? Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, has been widely quoted this morning comparing recent fires around the capital to the Blitz. ‘Yesterday was the busiest day for the fire service in London since the second world war,’ he said – climate change caused the heatwave which ‘led to the fires’. He added that he was dismayed that the Tory leadership contenders were not discussing this ‘elephant in the room.’ So is this right – or misleading? As so often, it’s a mixture. Khan is correct to say that the number of calls to London fire brigade was a record high: it received more

What Sadiq Khan and the SNP have in common

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and his four deputies submitted themselves to a public grilling last Tuesday. The State of London debate was chaired by James O’Brien and broadcast live on LBC. ‘I will endeavour to speak as little as possible,’ quipped the garrulous radio host who maintained his line of larky, locker-room banter throughout. ‘Sadiq Khan and the deputies,’ he said, ‘It sounds like the most rubbish band of all time.’ And he ribbed the mayor for ‘dancing like a crazy man’ at the premiere of Abba Voyage in the East End. Clearly a tight and cosy friendship there. Khan opened with a sermon about how ‘humbled’ he

How much did Sadiq Khan’s California cannabis trip cost the taxpayer?

Like many Londoners, Mr S was baffled to see our beloved mayor cavorting around America last month. As crime in the capital continued to soar, Sadiq Khan found time for a four-day jaunt across the States, in which time London suffered a murder and an eight-man mass brawl at Selfridges. The highlight of Khan’s trip appeared to be the right-on Labour man announcing a plan to move towards decriminalising cannabis, even though he, er, has no power to do so. So how much did this joint venture cost the taxpayer? Well, Steerpike’s Freedom of Information request has finally got a reply and it turns out that more than £34,000 was

‘Have a word’: Sadiq gets the vote out

Sadiq Khan may have won his contest last year but he’s not having such a good election this time around. The wokest mayor in all the West has not enjoyed the best week in the run-up to polling day. First, he was accused by Grant Shapps of breaking pre-election purdah rules after Transport for London yesterday announced the opening date for the Elizabeth Line. And today, Khan has reminded floating voters, uncertain of who to vote for in this year’s London council elections, of his key priorities. The mayor used polling day to tell male voters to ‘#HaveAWord’ and not laugh at ‘sexist “banter”,’ demanding that Londoners interrogate their friends when offensive language is

Sadiq reveals his priorities for lawless London

It’s not just The Smiths who warned of panic on the streets of London. The capital’s crime rate isn’t doing terribly well these days with five stabbings, a shooting and an acid attack all in the past week. Indeed, 2021 was a record year for teenage homicides in the great metropolis. Even former boxing champion Amir Khan has now claimed the capital is ‘a very dangerous place to visit’ after being mugged of his £70,000 watch, telling Sadiq Khan to ‘pull his finger out’ over the issue. Fortunately, it seems that the city’s beloved mayor has indeed finally listened. For this morning Sadiq published his advice to wannabe crime busters on the streets of London,

Is it really a crime to stare?

‘A sky full of stars and he was staring at her’ is a love poem by a dead Roman but on the London Underground, all a man will find if he looks skyward is a TFL advert warning him if he stares at me in an Attican fashion I’m to call the police. ‘Staring’ (Sadiq Khan’s bright red public safety warning reads – with ominous eyeballs popping out of the ‘a’ and the ‘g’) that may be construed as ‘intense’ and of ‘sexual nature’ is now ‘sexual harassment’ and ‘not tolerated’. Should anyone ‘see it or experience it’ they are to text the British Transport Police or dial an 0800 sexual harassment

Sadiq’s strikes shambles

Oh Sadiq Khan. The mayor of London was swept to office back in 2016 on a wave of Labour optimism about their plans for the great metropolis. One of his main pledges was for ‘zero days of strikes’ as ‘every day there’s a strike, it causes huge misery and inconvenience to Londoners.’ Khan claimed, prior to his election, that walkouts were ‘a sign of failure’ and that ‘as mayor, what I’d do is roll up my sleeves and make sure that I’m talking to everyone who runs public transport to make sure there are zero days of strikes.’ Fast forward to 2022 and a very different picture emerges. For this week’s industrial action by