04/06/2015 13:59 BST | Updated 04/06/2016 06:59 BST

Wolmar for London: The Road Less Travelled and the One to Make the Difference

I doubt I am alone in how I was feeling one night about three years ago. Dissatisfied with the way our city was being run by a part time Mayor who spent most of his devising plans for his return to Westminster, I did not feel that there was any meaningful alternative on offer. Of course I wanted to see a Labour Mayor, but, like many others, I wanted something fresh, new and authentic; far from the empty cliches offered by Westminster politics. I felt I was at a fork in the road - continue to support a politics that felt lethargic and failed to energise me; or; do something about it.

I took the road less travelled: I got on my bike and cycled to my local ward meeting in Islington North and so started my campaign to become the Labour candidate for Mayor of London.

And what a journey it has been. Along the way, I have spoken at 43 CLPs and over 100 meetings; learned many things listening to what local CLPs want for their communities and from the Labour Party. I've cycled 2000 miles and I'll cycle 2,000 more because Labour's grassroots need a voice.

My campaign is built on two platforms. Firstly, it is a grassroots campaign. My vision and policies are directly shaped by grassroots Labour members with added expert knowledge from specialists to make sure they are viable.

Secondly, and related to this, it is built on the idea that London needs to be more affordable, more liveable and more sustainable. But what does that mean in practice?


Everyone knows what this means and how pressing this is for London. Affordability means a decent home over everyone's head at a price they can afford; it also means taking the Tube without having to extend your overdraft. It also means tackling the low pay head on by insisting on a London Living Wage.

I believe the key issue here is housing. Tackling the housing shortage will be no easy feat but at least we know what the solution is - we need to build more houses. That's why On day one, I would form a new London Housing Develop Corporation with oversight of the capital's building duties. It would revise the London plan to ensure that we are meeting the capital's need of at least 60,000 new homes a year.

I would also bring in a new one hour bus ticket which allows you to use the same ticket to travel on any number of buses for up to an hour. Other European cities have this system - it's time we should too.


This is about creating a city that is even better to live in - cleaner air, more green spaces, better urban planning.

This might sound a bit airy-fairy but think at how damaging it is when parks are closed or green spaces built up (for expensive flats for foreigners usually) to quality of life.

That's why I want to begin a large pedestrianisation campaign in London. Starting with Oxford Street, followed by the north lane of Park Lane and the south side of the Aldwych - Londoners will be able to enjoy more of their city without fumes and traffic getting in the way. Now, if that sounds fanciful just think about Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square - can you imagine allowing cars back there?


Sustainability is not just about the environment - cleaner transport; greener energy; less car use - it means more than that.

It means allowing communities to be strong and robust by promoting diversity and a strong sense of shared identity and responsibility. Sustainable communities provide a better life for the next generation. They have stronger ties; closer networks; better schools; higher wages.

Sustainable communities do not need food banks, something that is absolutely shameful in a city as affluent as London. These communities are paid a living wage, have reliable working hours. They turn their backs on deprivation and crime and instead provide the backdrop against which everyone in the community has the best chance to succeed in life.

Securing the nomination

The Wolmar for London campaign now has three nominations of the five needed to make the shortlist - Kensington, Hackney North and Lewisham Deptford. Three very different CLPs that represent the broad appeal my policies have for supporters. We need just two more to make the shortlist with a huge number of meetings taking place tonight and ensure that the shortlist has a candidate who stands for the grassroots.

I ask you to join me in taking the path less travelled and support my campaign at your local CLP meeting of you have not done so already. You can do this by nominating me at your meeting, making sure my nomination is seconded and most importantly giving me your number one vote!

Read my policies on housing, transport, policing and health, and food here and get in touch with me if you have any questions or want to find out when your CLP meeting is on