The London election is just over two months away, and the campaigns are starting to hot up. Here's our round-up of who's being doing what.
They said what?
Zac Goldsmith's claim that it's "Labour propaganda" that councils are turfing people out of council homes got him heckled at an Age UK hustings (as Tony Blair found out, don't try and bluff your way past wise old heads). Goldsmith also wants to start building homes by adding two storeys to existing public buildings. He's also been releasing his tax bills.
Sadiq Khan also released his tax information, showing he earned a damn sight less than Goldsmith — at £647,406 since 2005, that's just shy of £59k a year. The next coffee run's still on him, though.
Sian Berry vowed to set an annual living rent for students. We looked into wince-making accommodation costs in London last year; if elected, Berry would pressure academic institutions to provide at least half their accommodation at or below this living rent, which the Greens calculate at £110 per week. Read more about this policy on her website (PDF).
Peter Whittle is very happy about Crossrail being named after the Queen.
We can only hope that the rail line proves to be as dependable in terms of standards and timing as the remarkable woman it is named after.— Peter Whittle (@prwhittle) February 23, 2016
EU and me
Thanks, David Cameron, for timing the EU referendum vote for the month after London's. Now we're going to get less talk about our specific issues and more about what candidates think about Brexit. For the record: Sadiq Khan, Caroline Pidgeon, Sian Berry and Sophie Walker from the Women's Equality Party are for IN, Zac Goldsmith, Peter Whittle and George Galloway are for OUT.
It's not just the mayor we're electing on 5 May, it's the Assembly, too. This week, City Hall hosted a reception to say goodbye to Darren Johnson and Jenny Jones, the Greens who have been on the Assembly since its inception in 2000. Sian Berry and Islington councillor Caroline Russell hope to replace them. Londonist is happy to report the wine at the party was very nice.
Ladbrokes currently rates the candidates' chances thus:
- Sadiq Khan 2/5
- Zac Goldsmith 15/8
- Caroline Pidgeon, Sian Berry and Peter Whittle 100/1
George Galloway also exists.