Sadiq khan

Why did Sadiq Khan politicise London’s fireworks?

It takes quite a lot to make fireworks divisive, no? A roaring display of noise and light and colour, owed to the technical ingenuity of our old friends the Chinese, reminding everyone who’s ever been in a war of the noise of falling shells… it’s a universally popular way of seeing in the New Year. And in all the displays around the world, it’s London’s on the Thames that draws in a global audience. Normally I watch the display from Ireland; this year I could almost see them on the horizon. With the year that’s been, this was the chance to cheer everyone up. It’s been a year of plague,

Why is Sadiq Khan talking London down?

Sadiq Khan’s powers as London mayor are relatively limited, but part of his remit is to act as a salesman for London. He is there to talk up the virtues of one of the greatest cities in the world. It was surprising then to see him concede at the weekend that we have to ‘accept the fact that there is potentially an existential threat to central London as we know it.’ This surely is the opposite of what the mayor of London should be saying at this moment in time. It also demonstrates why Sadiq Khan deserves to lose the election in May. Sadiq Khan already lost my vote months ago when he

Will there ever be another Conservative mayor of London?

Even in these strange political times, it looks very difficult for a Conservative politician to become Mayor of London. In the 20 years since the advent of the mayoralty and the introduction of the London Assembly, only Boris – as we all know, an unusual politician – has managed to beat Labour, with successive terms in 2008 and 2012. He succeeded in this by being more popular than the Conservative party in London; a politician, even then, with an independent brand. In contrast, Ken Livingstone was less popular than the Labour party at the time. These favourable winds are unlikely to blow again. On the contrary, the political ructions of

Will Sadiq Khan have to knock down Millicent Fawcett’s statue?

London mayor Sadiq Khan promised today that he will begin the process of pulling down ‘inappropriate’ statues around London – after Bristolians dumped the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in the river at the weekend. To investigate London’s landmarks, Khan has created a ‘Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm’ which will review statues and street names in the capital to make sure they reflect the diversity of its people. Khan said he expected the commission to find that it’s ‘not appropriate to be memorialising, or to be celebrating’ certain figures, especially those with a racist past and links to the slave trade.  Mr S wonders though if Khan’s

In defence of Sadiq Khan’s EU citizenship plan

Sadiq Khan has ventured to Brussels today to meet with European Union negotiators. London’s mayor has a plan to convince EU officials to offer Brits ‘associate citizenship’ after the Brexit implementation period ends this year. The citizenship would grant Brits continued access to freedom of movement and residency within the EU, along with a possible host of other rights linked to healthcare, welfare and voting in European Parliamentary elections. The bid, Khan says, is for ‘heartbroken’ Londoners and others. Of course, Khan is extremely unlikely to be successful. Although London’s mayor wants associate citizenship to be high up on the negotiating agenda when it comes the ‘future relationship’, it’s probably

Sadiq Khan’s mixed messages on photo ID

Sadiq Khan’s verdict was clear on plans to make voters show ID before casting their ballots: ‘This is voter suppression’, he said. ‘It will hit poorer and minority communities, just as it does in the US’. But Mr S couldn’t help but notice one of the requirements for people to attend the Mayor of London’s own ‘State of London Debate’ at the O2 earlier this year: ‘Please bring photo ID and arrive early to ensure entry’. #SpeaktoSadiq – but only if you’ve got photo ID…

Does Sadiq Khan think Brexit means cancelling Christmas?

‘I’ve heard he’s a great guy, this mayor,’ shouted Sadiq Khan to no one in particular as he arrived in the foyer of the Gilded Balloon at the Edinburgh Festival. He barged past me and headed for the auditorium. ‘Treat him gently, please. No heckling,’ he added, talking about himself. The audience moved into the sweltering venue where Khan answered questions from Iain Dale for 60 minutes. Some had been submitted in advance by the audience. ‘How confident are you of winning a second catastrophic term?’ That came from a disgruntled London voter. Khan looked a bit uncomfortable and muttered something about avoiding complacency. ‘It’s going to be very hard

Sadiq Khan is wrong about austerity and knife crime

There is something really ugly in Sadiq Khan’s description of stabbings in London as the ‘human cost of austerity’. What’s he saying? That being poor makes you a violent maniac? That being hard-up increases your likelihood of wanting to take a knife from the kitchen drawer and use it to slice some kid’s face? Does he really believe that individuals see things closing down — youth centres, libraries, mental-health programmes — and think to themselves: ‘This is bad. I’d better go out and stab someone in the neck’? Khan’s new focus on poverty and knife crime is intended to sound sympathetic and progressive. But in fact it is incredibly dehumanising.

Stop posturing over stop and search

It was somehow inevitable that shortly after Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick announced a fall in violent crime, there would be an absolute horror-show of death across the capital. The ‘weekend of bloodshed’ began on Friday 14 June with the murder of 18-year-old Cheyon Evans, knifed by teens in Wandsworth. A few minutes later Eniola Aluko was shot dead in Plumstead, then three men were hospitalised in Clapham, another dead of knife wounds in Tower Hamlets, and another an hour later in Enfield. In Stratford the next day, by the Westfield shopping centre, more than 100 young men attacked and injured a handful of police officers. A section 60 order

Sadiq Khan is wrong about rent control

Rent control would worsen London’s housing crisis while hurting the poor, immigrants, and minorities. Yet Sadiq Khan wants to make it the central plank of his bid to win re-election as London Mayor. Khan has said the case for rent control is ‘overwhelming’ and that ‘Londoners overwhelmingly want it to happen’. But while some may see rent control as a way of capping the money going into the pockets of landlords, it would actually make London’s problems worse. Rent control would lead to less home building—what London actually needs. On top of that it will mean lower quality housing and discrimination against the most vulnerable. From San Francisco to Stockholm, Berlin and New York, rent

Define ‘Islamophobia’

Sadiq Khan is an Islamophobe. Not just any old Islamophobe, and not just in the woollier parts of the web. According to a group part-funded by the EU called the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), the mayor of London, a practising Muslim, is one of the four ‘politicians and figures of note in the UK who [have] flagrantly displayed the most Islamophobia’ in 2018. Barack Obama is an Islamophobe. Cathy Newman, the Channel 4 News presenter, is an Islamophobe. So are Louise Casey, who led an inquiry into the Rotherham grooming scandal, Michael Wilshaw, the ex-head of Ofsted, and Maajid Nawaz, the Muslim counter-extremism activist. Over the last few years,

Admit it, Trump is right about Sadiq Khan

I’m sorry to say this, but Donald Trump really doesn’t think much about Britain at all. He may have some sentimental attachment to Scotland, because of his mother, but we’re not nearly as precious to him as we like to think. He may be blowing British minds today with his explosive Sun interview, but he’ll just shrug it off, go play golf, then meet Putin. But what Trump does have is an unthinking genius for sniffing out weakness, and he’s unthinkingly sniffed it out in Sadiq Khan. “I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad. I look at cities in Europe, and

Sadiq Khan’s Brexit stance isn’t ‘brave’ | 4 June 2018

It’s always good to remind Sadiq Khan that Brexit is more popular in London than he is. Khan loves to play the role of Mayor of Remainia, the political figurehead of this oh-so-clever capital city that can see through the folly of Brexit that those strange inhabitants of Essex, the North and Wales voted for. And yet while it’s true Londoners voted Remain by 59.9 per cent to 40.1 per cent, the fact is more of us voted for Brexit than we did for Khan: 1,513,232 Londoners want to leave the EU, which is 200,000 more than the 1,310,143 who wanted Khan as mayor. So Brexit was such a massive

Sadiq Khan goes to war on junk food. What about knife crime?

Sadiq Khan has been busy. But the mayor of London isn’t snowed under trying to deal with the capital’s knife crime epidemic. Instead, he is facing down a bigger demon: junk food. This morning, Khan has been touring the studios unveiling plans to ban adverts for unhealthy food on London’s tubes and buses. It is clear the mayor has got his priorities all wrong. What’s more, this censorship is bad for free speech. It also does very little to actually deal with what Khan calls the ‘ticking timebomb’ of childhood obesity. The press release announcing the plan tells us that almost 40 per cent of London 10- and 11-year-olds are ‘overweight

London shows that the more voters get to know Corbyn, the less they like him

It was always possible, I wrote a month ago, that the London elections would show voters baulking for the first time at the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn in power, especially after the protests in Westminster against anti-Semitism. That hasn’t quite happened: it seems there has been a slight swing to Labour in the capital, unlike the rest of the country. But fears of a Tory bloodbath in London – of Corbynistas and Sadiq Khan supporters painting the town red – were misplaced. The Tories have kept hold of their crown jewel boroughs: Westminster, Wandsworth, Kensington and Chelsea. Remarkably, they have even taken back control of Barnet, in north London, which

Sunday shows round-up: Brandon Lewis – Rudd did not set targets for deportation

The fallout of the Windrush scandal has continued from the previous week, with Home Secretary Amber Rudd still in the firing line and facing calls to resign. Rudd has been criticised after telling the Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday that the Home Office did not set targets for removals of illegal migrants to the UK. However, a memorandum leaked to the Guardian states that the Home Office had actually exceeded a quota of ‘12,800 enforced returns in 2017-18’, which Rudd later apologised for not having been aware of. Conservative party chairman Brandon Lewis, who was the minister responsible for immigration at the time, took to the Andrew Marr Show

Labour’s capital gains

Ever since last year’s general election, when Jeremy Corbyn inspired the strongest Labour surge since 1945, the Conservatives have been unsure if this was a freak occurrence or the start of something bigger. As they have learnt to their cost, opinion polls aren’t as reliable as they once were: only election results matter. There will be plenty next month, with seats on more than 150 councils all over England up for grabs. The Tories are nervous in lots of areas. But what terrifies them is London. The capital has served as the incubator of Corbynism, a brand of politics once laughed off as a niche Islington interest, yet now with

City slacker

According to people at City Hall, Sadiq Khan writes some of his own press releases. I can believe it: they’ve certainly become a lot more excitable since he took over. I like to imagine the Mayor of London, late at night, combing the thesaurus for fresh superlatives to bugle his ‘unprecedented programme of far-reaching improvements’ for the taxi trade (allowing black cabs in more bus lanes) or his ‘bold package of measures’ to revive street markets (creating a London Markets Board and an interactive map). One release even panted that Khan had ‘personally scrutinised’ the New Year’s Eve fireworks display ‘to make the acclaimed event the most exciting yet’. Language

Sadiq Khan takes a swipe at Labour’s Great Leader

Well, this is going well. Last night Jeremy Corbyn’s control of the Labour party grew even stronger with the appointment of Jennie Formby as Labour’s general secretary – the party’s most senior official. Formby – a key Corbyn ally – won the overwhelming support of Labour’s ruling NEC to take the post after a short contest, which saw her main rival Jon Lansman drop out. Only it’s not clear to Mr S that everyone in Labour is so impressed by recent goings on. Just an hour after her appointment, Sadiq Khan was entertaining hacks at City Hall – where he made a number of jokes about both Corbyn and the hire

Sunday political interviews round-up: Khan bashes Boris

It is Remembrance Sunday, and the party leaders put their politics aside this morning as they gathered around the Cenotaph to lay wreaths and honour those who lost their lives in times of war. However, in the TV studios, the political debate still carries on with as much vigour as before: Sadiq Khan – Boris Johnson has ‘got to go’ The Mayor of London joined Andrew Marr today and within minutes Khan had called for Boris Johnson to be dismissed from his post as Foreign Secretary. Marr raised the subject of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British national who is currently serving a five year jail sentence in an Iranian prison. During