Wednesday 6 January 2021 11:16 am

Mayor of London election to still go ahead in May

The London mayor election is set to go ahead as planned in May, the government has confirmed.

The election, along with a swathe of other local elections across the country, were postponed for a year last May due to Covid-19.

Read more: London mayoral election delayed for one year over coronavirus

The election will pit incumbent Labour mayor Sadiq Khan against Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey.

The Cabinet Office has confirmed today the elections will go ahead this year, as first reported in Guido Fawkes, despite uncertainty due to surging coronavirus cases in the UK.

A department spokesperson said: “Primary legislation states that the elections will go ahead in May 2021.

“We continue to work closely with the electoral community and public health bodies to resolve challenges and ensure everyone will be able to cast their vote safely and securely – and in a way of their choosing.

“Measures are planned to support absent voting at short notice. Guidance will be published in good time ahead of the polls and this matter will be kept under review.”  

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Khan is a very short-priced favourite with bookmakers to win re-election, after polling in the lead-up to the postponed London mayor election last year showed him with a 20+ point lead.

There were rumours in summer last year that Conservative donors wanted Bailey replaced with a different candidate, however the London Assembly member was told by Boris Johnson personally that he had his full confidence.

He has since been given more funding and a new campaign team by Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ).

Khan started his election campaign last year by saying the poll would be a “referendum on rent control”, saying that if he won then he should get powers from central government to implement caps on rent.

It was seen at the time as a way for Khan to make the election a battle between himself and the Prime Minister who is broadly unpopular in London.

Read more: Shaun Bailey accuses Sadiq Khan of wasting nearly £10bn of TfL cash

Bailey, meanwhile, has centred his campaign around London’s surging violent crime rates.

The former social care worker has accused the mayor of not doing enough to curb gang crime throughout his five-year term.