London mayoral election 2016: Zac Goldsmith says Tube passengers face conditions worse than farmyard animals as Sadiq Khan says the Tories' "Donald Trump approach" won't work

James Nickerson
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Zac Goldsmith Goes Head To Head With Sadiq Khan In First Mayoral Debate
Khan leads Goldsmith in the polls (Source: Getty)

Conservative mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith has warned commuters that they will face conditions on the Tube that would be illegal for farmyard animals unless there is further investment in the transport network.

Speaking with less than two weeks until London goes to the polls to vote on Boris Johnson's successor, Goldsmith said that the situation passengers are facing is dire, and will get even worse as the transport network is put under pressure.

A Conservative analysis said that Underground passengers are put into Tubes with up to five people per square metre, while livestock transport rules say cattle should get 23 per cent more space and sheep 123 per cent, according to the Evening Standard.

At the event at Waterloo station, Goldsmith added that Labour's Sadiq Khan is a man of the trade unions, which have largely donated to his campaign.

Read more: We found out what Khan's favourite biscuit is

Khan has said he would freeze transport fares until 2020, but Goldsmith said that this means the Labour candidate would be left with a £1.9bn funding black hole, leaving him little choice but to raise council tax.

The Tory candidates' statements come as Khan condemned the Conservatives for using tactics of division and fear in their effort to win City Hall.

In a speech at London Metropolitan University, Khan said there was a clear choice for Londoners.

"A choice between the politics of division and fear that has defined the Tory campaign, or the politics of unity, hope and opportunity that has defined mine. The Tory view of politics is all about division and fear," Khan said.

Read more: Mandelson urges business not to allow Zac Goldsmith to use City Hall to push the UK out of the EU

"I think this Donald Trump approach to politics, trying to divide communities, turn them against each other – I don’t think will work in London,” Khan added.

Recent polling has put Khan steadily ahead of Goldsmith when second preferences are taken into consideration.

Tension between the Goldsmith and Khan campaigns has been growing, with Khan backers alleging that Goldsmith's campaign has been divisive and preyed on Islamophobia.

Indeed, Goldsmith has been criticised for sending out leaflets to that effect, calling Khan "radical and divisive".