London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said City Hall is putting together proposals for a separate system of work permits for the capital.
A group of business representatives is working on a model that will ensure London “can carry on recruiting and attracting talent”, Khan told Sky News today.
He added that he has already held discussions with a number of government ministers on the issue, including Brexit secretary David Davis and chancellor Philip Hammond, in the clearest signal yet the mayor is looking to secure a unique Brexit deal for the capital.
“We are talking to business leaders, businesses, business representatives to see what we can do to make sure London doesn’t lose out on the talent, the innovation and the partnership that has let us be the greatest city in the world,” Khan said.
Groups such as the London Chambers of Commerce (LCC) have already started putting together proposals that “explore the idea of visas and permits for London”. Sean McKee, director of policy at the LCC, said the organisation will be releasing a more detailed publication in the coming weeks, though he added the LCC is not working directly with or for City Hall.
Speaking in Liverpool at the Labour party conference today, Khan said that while the leadership contest is over, the party must now seek power.
He argued the party’s failure to achieve better results was allowing numbers of affordable homes built to to fall and the numbers of homeless Britons to rise.
The message represented a coded warning to the party's left from Khan, who backed Owen Smith’s campaign to oust Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.
As London mayor, Khan is the party’s most senior elected official, and describing Labour in power, he said it was: “Not just talking the talk, but walking the walk, too. Never sacrificing or selling out on our ideals, but putting them in action every single day.
“Not a revolution overnight, but real and meaningful change that makes life easier for the people who need it most.”