Labour will shape a greener, fairer future for London as we recover from Covid

Karen Buck

As chair of Sadiq Khan’s re-election bid, I’m so proud of the positive campaign we ran and the historic win for Labour in London with Sadiq becoming the first Labour mayor to win two back-to-back terms. After all the challenges residents and the city faced over the past five years, Sadiq winning the Labour mayoralty for a second term was an incredible feeling. As chair, I’m extremely proud of the fact that we won with a positive campaign, stressing what had been achieved in very tough circumstances, and with a hopeful but realistic vision for the future.

Sadiq secured well over a million votes: 1,206,034. This is the second highest number of votes ever for a mayoral election in London, and only falls slightly short of the record-winning total of 1,310,142 achieved by Sadiq when secured his first term. He received well over double the number of second preference votes than the Conservative candidate. And he also received a higher share of the vote for a second term than Boris Johnson ever achieved while running for mayor.

This gives Sadiq an overwhelming mandate for his second term to continue building on Labour’s great achievements in London since 2016 and to deliver on some exciting new manifesto commitments. In his speech at the Globe theatre after officially signing in as mayor for a second term, Sadiq set out his vision for ensuring that London not only bounces back from the economic damage of Covid, but that we shape a fairer, greener, more united city for all Londoners as we do so.

He’s already living up to these words. Last Monday, he launched the biggest domestic tourism campaign London has ever seen to help kick-start London’s economy and to get it firing on all cylinders again. On the Wednesday, he announced that England’s Euro 2020 matches will be shown on giant screens in Trafalgar Square, with dedicated fan zones that will help to get the buzz back in the capital. On Thursday, the mayor announced more funding for a successful crime prevention programme as part of his commitment to be both tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime. And on Friday, he committed to extending the ultra-low emission zone to reduce toxic air pollution across the city.

This is just the start of what I know will be a great second term, with a focus on the things that matter most to Londoners: jobs, jobs, jobs, supporting young Londoners to reach their potential, building more affordable housing, creating safer streets and taking action to tackle the twin emergencies of air pollution and climate change.

It won’t be easy coming back from this pandemic. People have suffered terribly, with jobs, incomes and businesses lost on top of the personal tragedies of lost lives and sickness. What we must do is harness the spirit that got us through the pandemic to reopen, rebuild and reignite our amazing city, putting the dark days of the past year behind us and building a brighter future for all Londoners. I’m so proud to have played a part in Labour’s historic victory in London and what it means for the future of our capital city, and I believe it’s something that everyone in our Labour family should be incredibly proud of too.

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