31 March 2021 | ANALYSIS
Much of the attention in the London Mayoral race has gone towards the incumbent, Sadiq Khan of the Labour Party, and his challenger, Tory Assembly Member Shaun Bailey. There are, however, several other candidates, both from minor parties and from a plethora of independents. In this article, Wolves of Westminster gives you the low-down on who these candidates are and what they are standing for.
How to vote
The election takes place on 6 May. You can register to vote here, with the deadline being 11:59 on 19 April. Due to coronavirus, you may want to vote postally. You can do so by filling in this form, which must be received by your local Council’s electoral registration office before 5pm on 20 April.
You will have three votes: one for Mayor, in which you will be asked to vote for a first and second choice. If a candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, they win outright. If they do not, then the top 2 candidates move to another round with the second-preference votes of voters who voted for other candidates’ first preference being counted if they voted for one of the top two.
You also have a second vote for the London Assembly member for your geographical constituency, and another vote for a London-wide additional member.
- Actor, musician and political activist;
- Calling for an immediate end to lockdown restrictions;
- Spoken of his opposition to “extreme political correctness”, with plans for a “broken glass” policing policy that believes petty crime needs to be stamped out before it escalates into harder crime, and a move that would allow peaceful protests without police intervention.
- Pledged to scrap Low-Traffic Neighbourhoods;
- Proposes giving developers permission to build on green-belt land to tackle the housing crisis.
Green Party of England and Wales – Sian Berry
- Current co-leader of the Green Party and London-wide Additional Assembly Member;
- Pledged proposals for greater security against evictions, helping co-ops buy out private landlords, ending housing benefit cap and lobbying for Westminster to devolve powers to introduce rent controls;
- Pledges to flatten travel fares and move toward a single fare zone for all Londoners;
- Proposes piloting a Creative Autonomy Allowance, which would give 1,000 young people a basic regular income for three years, costed at £33million;
- Pledges to remove barriers to healthcare, housing and employment for Londoners who identify as trans or non-binary, as well as creating a hub / safe space for the LGBT+ community using GLA-owned property.
Liberal Democrats – Luisa Porritt
- Former MEP for London and leader of the Lib Dem group on Camden Council;
- Called for empty offices to be converted into affordable housing and to make access to housing an enshrined right;
- Pledged to end ‘stop and search’ without suspicion or the need to give a reason;
- Pledged scrap the Silvertown Tunnel Project in a bid to promote clean air, invest in new cycling routes and extend London Underground lines;
- Pledged to protect the rights of EU citizens, support freedom of movement, and secure a “better” Brexit deal for London, by lobbying the central Government to re-negotiate the current one.
Renew Party – Kam Balayev
- Lawyer who worked at Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Justice;
- Would discounts for first-time home buyers in London;
- Free travel in London for senior citizens. It is not clear how this is plan is different to the existing Freedom Pass;
- Would introduce the London Supplementary Income to give support payments to Londoners in light of the coronavirus pandemic;
- Would recruit more police officers, emphasise community policing and build new youth clubs.
Independent – Count Binface
- Satirical candidate created by comedian Jon Harvey;
- Would rename London Bridge after Phoebe Waller (Bridge, the Fleabag star) and Tower Bridge, Wayne (Bridge, former England, Chelsea, Manchester City, Southampton and West Ham footballer);
- Pledged to prevent shops from selling croissants for more than £1;
- Would ban speakerphones on public transport, with offenders being made to watch Cats, the movie, every day for a year;
- Would pay of the Mayor and Government Ministers to that of nurses for the next century.
Burning Pink – Valerie Brown
- Has been an environmental campaigner in the past;
- Burning Pink is calling for the removal of Government, to be replaced by Citizens’ Assemblies, bodies formed to deliberate matters of public interest;
- Brown has previously said she stands with Extinction Rebellion.
Independent – Piers Corbyn
- Former weathercaster and former Labour Councillor for Southwark Council;
- Has denied any human role in climate change;
- Over the course of the current pandemic, has been involved in protests that have lead to some commentators to describe him as a COVID-sceptic or anti-vaxxer.
Independent – Drillminister
- Rapper characterised for always wearing a balaclava, which he says will not be removed even if he wins;
- Vowed to prioritise rolling out cleaner buses in an attempt to fight air pollution;
- Pledged to introduce a contactless card which could be used to buy food, hostel accommodation and clothes;
- Wants to diversify the Metropolitan Police in a bid to cut crime;
- Insisted he is the only person in the race who truly represents Londoners, accusing Mr Khan of having designs on becoming Prime Minister.
Independent – Max Fosh
- YouTuber with over 300,000 subscribers;
- Launched campaign by declaring he just wanted to win more votes than fellow Harrow alumnus Laurence Fox.
United Kingdom Independece Party – Peter Gammons
- Motivational speaker and former Brexit Party member;
- Pledged to convert unused tunnels beneath London into a “pod” transport system;
- Vows to lobby central Government to stop locking down London;
- Says he will “defend” the police on tackling the knife crime problem. Other than a pledge to recruit more officers, it is not clear what this would look like;
- Proposes a new tree-planting initiative.
Heritage Party – David Kurten
- Assembly Member elected as a member of UKIP;
- Pledged to increase ‘targeted stop and search’;
- Vowed to not enforce coronavirus restrictions and “stop wasting police time investigating ‘non-crime hate incidents’;
- Would scrap evening and weekend congestion charges;
- Would defend statues and monuments from what Mr Kurten describes as “vandals and Marxists”.
Independent – Farrah London
- Businesswoman previously involved with the Conservative Party;
- Pledged to re-open police stations as well as recruit 6,000 police officers and volunteer constables;
- Vowed to simplify planning laws and backed building homes on brown-field sites;
- Plans a Council Tax break for under-25s;
- Pledged to cut congestion charge to £12 and reduce it to 5 days a week, as well as offering free travel across London for her first 100 days to get Londoners travelling again.
Independent – Charlie Mullins
- Founder of Pimlico Plumbers, former advisor to David Cameron and George Osborne;
- Proposed free tube and bus travel for all registered apprentices under the age of 25.
Independent – Nims Obunge
- Pastor and chief executive of the Peace Alliance, which was set up to fight knife crime;
- Called for zero tolerance for knife crime and the maintenance of ‘stop and search’;
- Would implement a tourist tax and establish guardianships for the homeless;
- Pledged to ensure carbon neutrality by 2030 and plant one million trees, though there is no costing for this on his website.
Women’s Equality Party – Mandu Reid
- Leader of the Women’s Equality Party – previously worked within City Hall, the Treasury and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport;
- Party has called for guaranteed furlough or self-employment support for working parents, childcare workers to receive vaccine prioritisation and extra annual leave days for working parents to aid in home-schooling;
- Party has called for a bail-out of the nursery sector;
- Party has called for an end to the gender pay gap;
- Party has called for building sanctuaries for those fleeing abuse and called for an increase in prosecution rates for perpetrators.
Independent – Brian Rose
- Podcaster who has worked in banking and has had YouTube videos removed for spreading COVID-19 and vaccine conspiracy theories;
- Called for cutting business rates and removing congestion charges;
- Pledged to remove all on-street parking in Central London;
- Vowed to implement proportional representation in the police;
- Pledged to deliver 50,000 new properties ready to move into by the end of 2021, though his website does not make clear how much this would cost or how it would be achieved.