Could Andrew Adonis be Labour’s next candidate for London Mayor? On Thursday, the Labour peer and former cabinet minister gave a speech setting out his proposals for the capital at Vauxhall CLP, a move which prompted much speculation about whether Adonis is eyeing up Boris’s job.
After the talk, one Vauxhaull member asked Andrew Adonis whether this meant he was throwing his hat in the ring for the London mayorship, but the Labour peer let the question hang in the air. That didn’t stop commentators speculating that Adonis plans to stand as Labour’s candidate in the elections in 2016. Andrew Adonis’ team briefed the Evening Standard about his speech the day before he actually gave it, so it is clear he wanted his proposals to reach Londoners so they could see what he would have to offer them as the city’s next Mayor.
During the speech in Vauxhaull, Andrew Adonis set out his vision for London, including three new Thames crossings in East London, a house-building programme and an infrastructure project to deliver satellite towns around the UK capital.
As former Labour minister who masterminded new schemes such as TeachFirst, HS2 and city academies, Andrew Adonis has an impressive record of delivering big projects. As one Labour source said, “he has a lot to bring to the table.” Adonis was scathing about Boris Johnson’s record on delivering infrastructure and implied that he could do much better for Londoners:
“Lord Reith’s motto was: “Indefinite planning is not planning at all.” Indefinite waffle is even worse. London deserves better.”
The Labour peer laid into Boris Johnson’s record as Tory Mayor:
“After five years as Mayor, [Boris'] main weakness is clear: he doesn’t have a credible plan to deal with the capital’s rapid expansion. The city, growing at nearly 100,000 people a year, is heading fast towards a population of 10m. Johnson’s response? Warm words.
In June, Johnson published his “2020 Vision” for the capital. This was not a plan so much as a blowing of London’s trumpet, a guidebook and a collection of suggestions, with no timescale or programme for delivery.
Homebuilding in London, which stood at 18,000 completions last year, is less than half of the 40,000 a year that Johnson’s own 2020 Vision says is needed, and a third of the 52,000 estimated by property consultants Knight Frank to be required if we are to keep pace with the growth in households. “
In the front row at Andrew Adonis’ speech was David Lammy MP, another London Labour heavyweight who’s also tipped to run for the candidacy. Eddie Izzard has also said he might consider standing for the selection.