London mayoral election 2016: Labour candidate Sadiq Khan and Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith spar as official campaign kicks off

Lauren Fedor
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George Osborne Presents The 2016 Budget Statement To The House Of Commons
Khan leads Goldsmith in all major public opinion polls (Source: Getty)

The front-runners to replace Boris Johnson as mayor of London traded sharp words today, the first official day of the mayoral campaign.

With just seven weeks to go until voters head to the polls, Labour candidate Sadiq Khan used a speech in Westminster to say he would be the “British Muslim who takes the fight to the extremists”, pledging to review into the London’s emergency services’ ability to deal with a major terrorist attacks and to back so-called shoot to kill tactics.

“In the face of current threats, we need to be absolutely certain that London has the capacity to deal with a series of coordinated incidents across our city. So on day one of my mayoralty, I will order a full and comprehensive review of London’s emergency services’ capability to deal with a major incident,” Khan said.“And if gaps are identified, I will act to fill them.”

Meanwhile, at a campaign event in Woolwich, Tory hopeful Zac Goldsmith said Khan would be a “disaster”.

“I will build on Boris’s success, and I will make it work for all Londoners by fixing the housing crisis, growing the transport network, making our streets safer and making London the greenest and cleanest city in the world,” Goldsmith said. “The alternative is a man whose record shows he can’t and won’t deliver. Khan is a deeply partisan politician who has cynically changed his position on every issue depending on who he is speaking to.

“He is a man with no principles and who will trample on anyone and anything to advance his career.”

Read More: Battle commences in London mayoral election

Goldsmith’s team also hit out at Khan’s refusal to rule out a council tax hike, with a campaign spokesman tying Khan to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn: “‘It’s the same old Khan-Corbyn Labour Party: unfunded spending commitments, higher taxes and Londoners paying the price of experimental policies.”

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