Sadiq Khan: Next PM must ditch “anti-London agenda” and work with City Hall
Sadiq Khan slammed Boris Johnson’s outgoing administration as the “most anti-London government in modern times” as he pledged to work with the new Prime Minister to reset relations between the capital and the government.
Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak will take part in the final hustings of the contest to be the next PM in London tonight, and Khan called for whoever wins to “leave their party’s damaging anti-London agenda behind.”
“Our city has been excluded from various funding pots, hit hard by Brexit and scapegoated as a source of all our country’s ills,” Khan told City A.M. last night.
Frustration had boiled over in recent months as fraught negotiations over a funding deal for Transport for London, signed only yesterday, dragged on.
That row came after years of tit-for-tat public battles over Brexit and Covid-19 lockdown policies.
The relative lack of attention paid to financial services in the UK’s Brexit agreement, a vital part of London and the UK’s economy, also irked policymakers at City Hall.
“London will be key to powering the UK recovery, getting our economy growing again and delivering the more prosperous future our communities deserve. But we can’t play our part in this vital mission if we have one hand tied behind our back,” the Mayor said.
Johnson sought to defend his levelling up policy during the past year, saying he did not want to “decapitate the tall poppies.”
Khan pledged to work “constructively with any Prime Minister who is committed to doing right by London and our incredible country.”
Sadiq Khan won his second term as Mayor in May 2021.
Much of the leadership campaign has focussed on the cost of living, with rising energy bills in particular a dividing line between the candidates.
“The simple fact is that in order to tackle the cost of living emergency that is affecting people up and down our country, the Government must ensure our capital’s economy is firing on all cylinders. That’s because when London succeeds, the rest of the UK succeeds – and vice-versa,” the Mayor said.