POLITICS

London Citzens Mayoral Election Hustings (LIVE BLOG)

04/25/2012 06:17 pm 18:17:26 | Updated 25 April 2012

With eight days to go until London choses its next Mayor, one of the largest public hustings has taken place in Central London.

It's the largest live audience the candidates will face in the whole campaign, and it's been organised by London Citizens, a cross-London interfaith organisation which encourages Londoners to engage with politics. It's been running for more than 15 years and started off in the boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Hackney.

Huffpost was liveblogging from the event - the proceedings can be viewed below.

The questions put to the Mayoral candidates were posed by ordinary Londoners, gathered through a series of door-knocks throughout the city over the past few weeks.

Ruhana Ali, one of the community organisers based in the East End of London, told HuffPost that it was the toughest hustings for the Mayoral candidates.

"They're really feeling the pressure this time around, because of all of the scandals that have happened in politics," she says.

"It's not one of those events where they're given a free reign to do a spheel, they're being directly held to account on the policies that Londoners want."

Ali believes the race will be incredibly tight, and her experience suggests there're a lot of fickle, floating voters who haven't made up their mind.

"We're a broad-based alliance of different organisations, encouraging people to work together for the common good. We're going right into the heart of the neighbourhoods, and in areas you'd think would be quite Labour, or kind of given, people have mixed opinions about Labour, and the same for Conservatives. But people are engaging with this election more than any other election. They know it's going to be a close one, and every vote counts this time.

"We've got different issues in east London compared to the things that come up in west London, but one of the things that unites everyone is a social justice agenda. London's very particular and very special, people feel they're Londoners and care about things that happen in their capital."

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