London mayoral election 2016: Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith lays out "vision for London"

 
James Nickerson
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Conservative Zac Goldsmith Gives Talk On Transforming Politics In The UK
Goldsmith said he will work with the government to secure the powers and funds to deliver action (Source: Getty)

Conservative candidate for Mayor of London Zac Goldsmith will today set out his vision for London if elected in May.

The Richmond Park MP's plan aims to "build on the city's economic strength" under current mayor Boris Johnson, and will focus on four key areas: housing, transport, living environment and crime.

"We can take London’s success and make it work for everyone who lives and works here, but that can only happen with a strong and independent-minded Mayor who is able to secure a the funds and powers needed from this government," Goldsmith said.

"My plan for Greater London will deliver more homes, better transport, safer streets, and cleaner air. As an MP, and more recently as a mayoral candidate, I have shown that I deliver.”

Read more: Goldsmith - The green Tory gunning for Londoners’ votes

In particular, Goldsmith wants to build 50,000 homes a year by 2020 and ensure that "a significant proportion of all new homes are only for rent and not for sale".

He also wants to protect the green belt from development, ensure the Night Tube goes ahead and protect neighbourhood police teams, keeping them on the street.

Goldsmith's campaign boasts that all of the initiatives will be paid for without increasing mayoral council tax.

However, the plans didn't go down too well with Labour MP Seema Malhotra, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury.

“This is a lightweight list which doesn't even mention business, affordable housing, the soaring cost of transport, low pay, or health. This plan is not even worth the paper it is written on," she said.

“A vote for Zac Goldsmith is a vote for four more years of Tory failure in City Hall, and no action to tackle the Tory housing crisis, support London's business community or protect Londoners from yet more fare hikes.”

Read more: Poll shows Goldsmith leads among London businesses

With just over 100 days until the election, Goldsmith's rival Sadiq Khan has become the front-runner with most bookmakers and has increased his lead in the polls. However, a separate poll put Goldsmith ahead of Labour's Khan among London businesses.

That doesn't quite fit with Khan's recent attack on Goldsmith, in which he said the Conservative MP “doesn’t get how to work with business".

The attack has become typical of the electoral race, which has descended into a war of words in recent weeks. Tension reached fever pitch recently when Goldsmith accused Khan of “playing the race card” after sources close to Khan said a Goldsmith leaflet calling the Labour candidate “radical and divisive” had Islamophobic undertones.

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